Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Vandercook Weekend

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!