An invitation to our Open House

   Posted by: rring   in Uncategorized

In my final letterpress class on Saturday I set and printed (with the help of my compatriots) 160 invitations to our open house, which will be sent to “local” members of our Associates.  I invite anyone on campus to come by on Friday, February 11 from 10am to 2pm for cookies, cider, and other light refreshments to see some of our new acquisitions in the cases and talk with me about some of the things we are looking forward to at the Watkinson.

Here is the printed invite:

Of the valuable lessons I learned during the setting of this piece (which took about an hour–at least 20 times slower than a 19thC typesetter!):  the relevance of the old saw “mind your p’s and q’s,” as well as a caution about working with old (worn), and possibly mixed type.  Several of the letters most used (“e” and “r in this case) needed to be switched out because they were not achieving type-height, and so were not printing.  Justification is another activity that will take a lot of time to get a handle on. 

On another level, I had occasion to think about the care and feeding of a printshop, and the materials one chooses to use.  If you are a “green” shop and use vegetable oil to clean ink off the type, it sticks together if not properly dried.  In general, frankly, it is best to run a tight shop, so to speak, and make sure everything is clean and in order when you leave, if possible.  It makes such a difference.  Here is a short video of me printing the invitation:



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