ink, wood type...steppin up to the letterpress!

I've mentioned before that a big dream of mine is to have a design & letterpress studio. The design studio portion of this dream is something I'm having fun doing right now, on a part-time basis...in the midst of being a mom to two beautiful girls & helping Jes whenever needed with his growing business. Many nights, after the kids have gone to bed, I'm up, unaware of what time it is, doing what I love: designing!

a pic of the Heidelberg Windmill = the letterpress i hope to have & use

The letterpress portion of this dream has been just that - a dream, that is until this weekend!! On Saturday, I drove up to Los Angeles & attended my first letterpress workshop here. I was able to convince my cute mom to come too. We learned all about the many steps, tools, processes & time that is involved in creating something beautiful with a letterpress!

Here's a look at some of the fun we had working with the International Printing Museum's letterpress type & equipment!
the huge linotype machine: getting "york design group" cast in a line of metal

(drawers filled with all sizes of lead & wooden type blocks)
I felt like a kid in a candy store!

each drawer is called a california job case...notice the various slot sizes...they each house a specific letter. click here to learn more about the case layouts...(fyi: many people collect empty cases like these and use them to add texture to walls or to showcase their collections (ie: shells, spools of thread, etc.)

setting the lead/metal type in a chase for proofing

adjusting the type blocks, kerning & leading (spacing) 
on the vandercook proofing press

after inking the type & illustration block on the galley, I made several proofs

i love this image! 
it shows the chase with the type blocks securely set &
the print directly above it.

my mom with her printed proof! (notice the 'read with me' slogan!) :)

Our last project of the day was to create a poster of type and imagery using the Vandercook sp-15...it is a much larger press and operates manually by turning the hand crank.

Getting the paper ready to feed through the press

the blocks of type...inked with one color. the paper above is going to be pressed into this galley to make an impression

ta da!..can't wait to go back!


Brandy-Blue said...

that's so cool... that's awesome that you still take time to do what you love... so many women forget about themselves after the babies arrive. glad to see you're doing good!

Elisa said...

Blue! Love hearing from you! Thanks for your comment! I miss you! It was so fun visiting with you and your family. oh!...how do I see you're blog?...send me an email.

brit.brit.brit said...

brilliant. that machine is dreamy.look at your face in those shots!!!bliss. jesse better not get jealous of this new relationship.

kmk said...

Hey Elisa! I'm so glad I found your blog today!! It's so funny, just this morning Kawai was asking me who made her the beautiful name sign with her name on it, which you made for her like 6 years ago! I told her she wouldn't remember you. Then later today, I got to show pictures of you to her! I'm glad to see you guys are doing well....What cutie pies you guys have!!

Elisa said...

Hi Krista! Yeah, thanks for your comment! I can't believe that Kawaii is 6 yrs old! We miss San Luis Obispo...hoping to have a chance to come visit!

~Dana said...

That is the ultimate 'cool' machine! It was so fun to see you again last week!