I once told a papermaker friend that I tell papermakers I am a printmaker and vice versa. Maybe it seems like I am lowering the bar as an excuse for myself but I am just giving myself more room to learn all around. This weekend, I found myself explaining that I print equally on platen presses and flatbed Vandercooks as I had the opportunity to take a Vandercook Maintenance class with Paul Moxen at the San Francisco Center for the Book. All of my internship hours were worth the chance to take apart sections of presses I have used to create many years of postcards.
For non-letterpress friends, this might be a little nerdy. Paul Moxen probably knows more about Vandercook machines and history than anyone in the US now. He is a great collector of stories and information, constantly gathering more. He keeps a registry of Vandercook presses in the world, to which I added the beauty in our garage. I also had the chance to meet someone who has the same press we have, a motorized Universal 1 with an adjustable bed and automatic feeder. I look forward to emailing Chip at Quail Lane Press next time our press makes that weird noise as I print another postcard.
|checking the balance of the carriage|
|paper grippers from the inside out|
|gauge on the 219 for the adjustable bed|
I won't bore you with details of what I learned but a few things started to make sense about presses I have used before (oh the LSU Vandercooks need love). Maybe I will post some photos when Ben and I have a chance to clean up ours. But today, before it rains, I must fix my bike after my derailleur somehow twisted itself into my back wheel the other day. Wish me luck!