#13 Paper Addiction

I'll admit it.  I have an addiction to paper- the smell of it, the feel of it.  Some people know wine and all its delicacies of taste-- hint of oak with notes of cherries, anyone?  This is how I know paper.  Cold-pressed v. hot-pressed, rag content, the different ways they absorb inks & paints (This is probably getting too heavy for everyone but me, sorry).  Don't even get me started on all the pencils, pens, markers, & paints.  I will, however, get to the point of this post: letterpress.  It makes digital printing look like a kindergartner's scrawl.  You can feel the words on the paper & immediately tell there is a high level of craft and care that goes into making these prints.

The only thing I knew up until last week about letterpress was the finished product and bits & pieces about how it's made.  Time for a field trip.  I met McDavid of Brown Parcel Press at the 3rd Ward Craft Show and called on him at his studio in Brooklyn last week to learn more about the process.

The beast that is the printer. 
Letterpress technology hasn't been improved upon much since the mid-20th century (unlike digital printing which is constantly becoming more sophisticated in hopes that it can compete).  This printing press is a finely tuned machine, waiting silently to devour stacks of paper.  As soon as McDavid pulled the lever to start the motor, I immediately conjured up images of Lucille Ball and paper flying everywhere.  I'm positive that if I had been at the helm, this would have been the case because I would have accidentally flipped the switch to make it go super fast.  The roar of the machine and it's clacking and whooshing are exhilirating, kind of like driving a fast car.  If you have a chance to see such printing in action, I highly recommend it.  And if you have the means to get some letterpress made for yourself, I'm jealous.

the design goes here on the plate to be inked & pressed onto the paper

the finished product
Be sure to check out Brown Parcel Press's work & support letterpressers everywhere!

Anyways, I have accumulated enough stationary, drawing paper, wallpaper, scrapbook paper, & wrapping paper to kill at least one forest.  New Year's Resolution: Use it.

I plan on writing letters, getting back into drawing and sketching for my own pleasure, giving lots of presents, making origami... anything to use it!  My friends, expect to get something in the mail...

flipping pages

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