Wednesday, August 4, 2010

my last day in purgatory

Today was my last day as an intern for the Purgatory Pie Press. It was a sad and sweltering day, though the sweltering wasn't unusual... I was sick Monday and Tuesday of this week (a strange sickness where I felt feverish but had a lower body temperature than is normal and I slept 18 straight hours) so I felt even more sluggish and foggy today than usual. Despite it all, however, it was a good last day.

I was able to "proof" (shop talk for print for the first time) my very own wooden block letters on Mothra (Dikko's Vandercook-4 letter press). I set up the type and everything all by myself: it was very satisfactory.

The press!
That's right, I set that up.
(Note: I actually didn't do it completely right, but it was my first time and I figured it out all on my own, so don't judge.)
The first printing! See how the L is far away from the T? It's because the letters are on rectangular blocks. Dikko offered to kern it (in letter press terms this means to actually cut the block down) for me, but since this is my only wooden type I was a little hesitant to let him do that. Usually you have a full alphabet and repeating letters so you would kern one but not any others.
This was my favorite printing that I did. I inked and printed it once (the darkest Cassi Elton) then turned it upside down and printed it again, then trimmed it down and printed it sideways both directions, each time without adding any more ink. A great way to help clean the press AND it looks pretty cool!
We also proofed some metal type I had that spelled thanks! Dikko printed it on some heavier paper for me so I could fold them into cards. I love them! I can't wait to start taking classes at the Center for the Book in Iowa so I can print as much stuff as I want!!!
As a last day present Dikko and Esther presented me with their most recent postcard subscription. These are my 4 favorite cards. The dice one is really amazing: I want to try printing with dominos when I get a chance. The Blue Velveeta one? It's fuzzy. Love it.
I am so glad that I had the opportunity to intern with Esther and Dikko. It was definitely a different experience than I had expected, but I learned a lot. I've already started to put a lot of what I've learned into practice in my own books, and can't wait when I'll have access to the types of tools they have in their studio when I get out to the Iowa Center for the Book. I love book making!

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