Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Ladies Road Trip!

I know, I was in New Orleans for less than ten days and off again, visiting a pile of friends all in the middle of moving. Why would I leave in New Orleans in the sleepy summertime? For a Ladies of Letterpresss Conference. I missed last years and it was a good excuse to sit for hours in a car with two wonderful ladies of Blackbird Letterpress. First stop: the giant inflatable peach in north Georgia for fresh peaches, fried pies, and hot boiled peanuts.
We also researched some roadside attractions by stopping at Tallulah Falls for postcards and a view of mountains (Louisiana is so flat! The mountain air is so drinkable. Louisiana air is climbable, that is, dense enough to climb.) Also, the Great Wallenda crossed the falls in the '70s. If you are on Instagram, find Blackbird Letterpress for a photo of me reliving the Great Wallenda's feat via plywood.
We admired the blown glass handicrafts and continued onto Asheville.
The Conference was an incredible accumulation of smart, creative ladies who love their presses. We had a chance to tour a few local print shops. Our first stop was Mink Press, who had recently moved into a backyard studio and had a baby and was still willing to host us in her backyard, offering edible treats and artist trading cards to inspire other letterpress printers to begin trading the tiny cards.
We stopped at Asheville Bookworks, a community printshop with classes in letterpress and papermaking and 7 Ton Press, a collective of printers including Beth Schaibel, who I met at Penland 4 years ago and was happy to meet again since I had been admiring her work all over Asheville.
Our last stop was Hand Cranked Letterpress, a printshop located in an exquisitely decorated home with a tempting pool. Of course they used to live in New Orleans, where beautiful clutter is recognized as display of unique collections. Yes, there was a disco ball in the press room. All this on the first day! More tomorrow.