Anna Hogan Wood Engraving show at the Museum of Printing

October 21st, 2009

I bought this great little wood engraving print by Anna Hogan at this summer’s Letterpress Guild / Museum of Printing fair, and really loved a lot of her other work. (I literally ran out of cash, or I would have bought another print or two from her).

I was very glad to receive a beautiful invitation to the opening reception to a show of her work at the museum on October 23. You should try to catch her show [more info].

In genral, I’m really pleased to see how much stuff is going on at the Museum of Printing. Lots of good stuff happening there lately.

Rainey + The Rainy Planet

October 21st, 2009

Terri & Rainer, in statue park

It’s been a while, hasn’t it?

The Rainy Planet Press has been more or less on hiatus for some time, because of a new Rainey in our life: Rainer Eli Wise Ball, born July 17.

Just five short days before he was born, we rallied some friends and moved the press from our digs at Joy Street Studios in Somerville to some more industrial space in Medford. We don’t get to take advantage of the open studios– not that we ever did– but we do get some cool new studio mates, it’s much closer to home, and it’s a heckofa lot cheaper.

Unfortunately, the newborn takes up a lot of time and we haven’t *quite* gotten the press all back in working order.

But! Look for that to change soon.

Cake & Pie handcrafted ornament swap

November 1st, 2008

This looks like fun. I thought of doing it last year, and might do it this year.

The Atlas of Early Printing

September 23rd, 2008

Spread of Printing AtlasThe University of Iowa has this nifty animated atlas / timeline of the spread of printing in Europe between 1450 and 1500.

[via Lauging Squid]

Letterpress Guild of New England Wayzgoose 2008 pictures

September 21st, 2008

I just posted some photos from the wayzgoose to Flickr. Check it out.

Using a household iron to heat type

Monotype keyboard paper roll   Sam and Bill   Michael demonstrates the Linotype model 31   Jacob   Composed composing sticks

Rebecca brushes off excess leaf

Obama '08 Much missed, at least by me, was Leslie of the Sea Dog Press (who sent along these Obama signs since she couldn’t make it in person) and Kelley of May Day Studios, (who printed the lovely invitations to the event)

Of interest the weekend of September 20-21

September 19th, 2008

The Letterpress Guild of New England’s annual wayzgoose is tomorrow (September 20) at high noon at the Firefly Press in Allston.

The Somerville Urban Country Fair is also tomorrow in Union Square; Shelley and the Albertine Press posse will be there, as will myriad other crafty people.

The Boston Zine Fair is tomorrow and Sunday, September 21, at the Boston Art Institute on Newbury Street.

Also– and this is not letterpress related at all, but I do like beer– the Mercury Brewing Company’s harvest party is up in Hamilton on Sunday afternoon.

There is way too much action this weekend!

The Victorian Emoticon

September 19th, 2008

Wired reports that on this day in 1982, the emoticon was invented:

At precisely 11:44 a.m., Scott Fahlman posts the following electronic message to a computer-science department bulletin board at Carnegie Mellon University:

19-Sep-82 11:44 Scott E Fahlman :-)
From: Scott E Fahlman

I propose that the following character sequence for joke markers:


Read it sideways. Actually, it is probably more economical to mark things that are NOT jokes, given current trends. For this, use:


But the article also delves into historical precedent for using typography to convey emotions, and here’s where the letterpress / antique typography angle comes in:

In 1881, the American satirical magazine Puck published what we would now call emoticons, using hand-set type. No less a wordsmith than Ambrose Bierce suggested using what he called a “snigger point” — \__/ — to convey jocularity or irony.

New faces at the Print Arts Fair

June 18th, 2008

I keep getting hung up on blogging about last Sunday’s Print Arts Fair because I can’t decide where to start. So this will just have to be the first in a series.

I’ll start with the two vendors who sat to the left and right of the Rainy Planet booth. Both were new to the fair, and are extremely talented artists.

To our left was Jenn Ski. Her real name is longer, and I can’t spell it without looking, but it’s probably not going to annoy her if I don’t mention it here. I bothered to print it out in full on her vendor name tag, and she said (and this is not an exact quote) “oh, you wrote the whole thing out, nobody calls me that”. So there you go. Just call her Jenn Ski.

Whatever you want to call her, her prints are really nifty, and all my friends who have the mid-20th-century design inclinations would do well to patronize Jenn’s Etsy store, and read her great blog. Which is updated with enviable frequency.

Paper Breakfast w/ a customerTo our right was Paper Breakfast which was Hannah and her beau (whose name I sadly forget… I really should get better at these things… was it Jonathan?). As coincidence would have it, it turns out that Terri and our friend Editrix took a bookbinding class with Hannah last fall (and Terri also took one with Kelly of May Day Studio, also a vendor at the fair). Anyway, we totally loved their stuff, and spent more money at their booth than we made selling our own stuff. We picked up a tiny animal book, two prints, and a card. If we were infinitely wealthy we probably would have gotten more.

paperbreakfast.jpgI really loved the albino deer etching, but I do think that the digital version is a pale imitation of how great this is in person: it’s all about the blind deboss and the 3-dimensionality. Also check out her handmade, limited-edition book,
The Pie Eaters (pictured at left).

Reminder: Print Arts fair is this Sunday

June 10th, 2008

Hot Type, Cool BooksJust a reminder that the Rainy Planeteers will be selling schtuff at the Print Arts fair at the Museum of Printing in North Andover, Mass. this Sunday, June 15, rain or shine.

Other highlights of the fair to make it worth your while:

  • An Adams-Washington colonial-era hand press printing a faux “Good News” newspaper
  • A 100-year old newspaper press re-printing the last issue of the last letterpress-printed newspaper in Massachusetts
  • Demonstrations of bookbinding, papermaking, paper marbling, lithography, typesetting, and letterpress printing
  • hands-on printing activities for kids and adults
  • over a dozen vendors selling stationery, art books, journals, broadsides, paper goods, and printing equipment
  • the museum and library will be open
  • it’s across from the picturesque North Andover common.

Here’s my Flickr photoset from last year’s fair.
Albertine Press tableWatering the roadMay Day & Ben

Boston Globe article about font designer

May 28th, 2008

This Globe article about local font designer David Berlow is sort of interesting. Maybe worth 20 seconds of your life. But it’s ultimately kind of disappointing.

Why does the lede assume you don’t know what a font is? (”Unless you’re in the design or publishing industry, David Berlow won’t bother explaining his line of work to you.”) I mean, honest to goodnes, it’s 2008, chances are, if you’re living in the US, you have used a computer, and if you’ve used a computer in 2008, you probably know what a font is, even many may quibble with the exact definition. And you have Steve Jobs’s short stint at Reed College to thank for it.

For my 2 cents, The Boston Globe is due for some kind of feature on local typography superstar Matthew Carter, designer of many many digital fonts including Georgia, Verdana, Tahoma, and Rainy Planet fave, New Century Schoolbook.