All type and cuts were generously loaned to us by Bob Cicero of Globe Poster Company. Thanks again, Bob!
Yesterday Allison and I volunteered to help with the letterpress demos at Parents/Family Weekend. Seeing it as the perfect opportunity to bring about awareness of Globe Poster to the parents of MICA, we set up two presses for printing with Globe woodtype and ornamental cuts. The other two presses were set up with beautiful Globe cuts scheduled to be printed later that day.
Bright pink and rich black ink greeted parents as they walked into the letterpress studio of Dolphin, and everyone was eager to try their hand at printing. While they walked the press to the end of the bed, we took the opportunity to explain where all of the type and cuts came from, the history of Globe, and the inevitable closing of the shop. Sometimes before we could finish our spiel, there were chimes of “MICA should buy Globe!” One eager mom even offered to write an email to Fred. Mom’s are the best!
It was wonderfully gratifying to learn that parents are just as interested in the future of Globe at MICA as the students are. There seemed to be a general interest and excitement in letterpress. To get more traffic upstairs in the studio, Allison wrote “Come try letterpress!” on one of the posters, and I hung it in the window of the front door of Dolphin. Many parents came into the studio already familiar with letterpress–several ready with excellent questions about presses and type. I think this has a lot to do with letterpress’s resurgence thanks to the DIY movement, and sites like Etsy highlighting the handmade.
Several times a parent turned to me, after making their print, to ask if they could keep it. “Of course! You made it,” I’d say, and they’d smile brightly. I was reminded of how I felt when I made my first print on a Vandercook, and how I am continually amazed at the magic of letterpress. The serendipitous discovery of blocks and furniture fitting together, the smell of the ink, the sound of the Vandercook as it hits the end of the bed–everything adding up to the satisfaction of pulling that first print off the press. It was great sharing part of that magic with parents yesterday.
Photos courtesy of Sam