Archive for the 'Rainy Planet' Category

Rainey + The Rainy Planet

Wednesday, 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.

Letterpress Guild of New England Wayzgoose 2008 pictures

Sunday, 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)

New faces at the Print Arts Fair

Wednesday, 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).

Coming Soon! The 5th Annual Print Arts Fair at the Museum of Printing

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

Despite the dearth of blog entries in the past several months, the Rainy Planet Press is still kicking. Well, maybe nothing so animated as “kicking” but we continue shuffling irregularly toward some unstated and frankly unknown goal, whenever we so please.

The big news, which I am very delinquent in announcing, is that we are again selling our wares at this year’s Letterpress Guild of New England / Museum of Printing fair in North Andover, Massachusetts. It’s on Father’s Day again, Sunday, June 15, 2008.

This year I’m coordinating the vendors, so if you are interested in selling your wares as well, be they printed goods, printing gear, or other related items, please contact me at for more info. Join the likes of the Albertine Press, Pressbound, The Press With No Name, Swamp Press, May Day Studio, Sea Dog Press, and more to come…

More soon!

Welcome Terri to the blog

Friday, February 29th, 2008

My Rainy Planet co-conspiritor, Terri, normally blogs over at The Shy Turnip about books, knitting, cats, The Comic Strip Presents, and all manner of fine things. But she’s also been posting great writeups of recent letterpress activities, like the Bazaar Bizarre, and our increasing involvement in the Letterpress Guild of New England. So I’m setting her up to write about them here.

Let’s give Terri a big ol’ Rainy Planet Blog welcome!

Terri’s recap from the Bazaar Bizarre

Friday, December 21st, 2007

In case you missed Terri’s recap of our 2007 Bazarre Bizarre experience, check it out. our table at the bazaar bizarre

It was a fantastic event and once again we felt privileged and humbled to be a part of such a great show with so many creative folks selling their wares. It was nice to get a lot of repeat customers from last year, and some nice feedback (”I sent your cards out to a bunch of people and they loved them!” for one).

Some highlights were

  • trading some stuff to the Shelley of Albertine Press for one of her gorgeous letterpress + marbled paper 2008 calendars.
  • selling a custom moleskine that said “following my heart is my long term plan” to Ivana Clobber, founder of the Boston Derby Dames, who is quitting her job and driving across the country (several times over) and ending up in Kansas City, MO to go pro. It’s cool to think that she’ll be recording her adventures in one of our notebooks! (Even though I spelled “following” wrong on it. (Did I mention the light was sort of bad in our corner after sunset?))
  • selling a surprising number of Terri’s Ladybug, Ladybug (aka, “your children will burn“) cards. We sold three to a guy who said he was just denied tenure.

your children will burn

Bazaar Bizarre reminder….

Saturday, December 8th, 2007

RPP  BannerDon’t forget to come early to the Cyclorama to catch us at the Bazaar Bizarre tomorrow (Sunday, Dec. 9).

Doors open at noon, and last year, the line stretched around the block until well after four.

Holiday Greetings

Come see us at the Boston Bazaar Bizarre ‘07

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007

The bad thing is that I’ve been a bad blogging doobie lately. The good thing is that I’ve been a bad blogging doobie because I’ve been a good printing doobie, and Terri and I have been creating fabulous new Rainy Planet creations in preparation for the Boston Bazaar Bizarre.

Come visit. We’ll be basically where we were last year, in the room to the immediate left as you enter the Cyclorama, just beyond the Boston Derby Dames.

The C&P has been fully operational for about a month now, thanks to Colin lending me his vise for an evening, so that I could bend a metal dowel to make a foot treadle hook for my DIY foot treadle (a.k.a. a 2×4).

We skipped participating in the Open Studios at Joy Street the other week, because when sign-ups were going on, we didn’t know if we’d have a functional press, and we didn’t have that much to show. But we did need the weekend to actually work, and people were not so cool about leaving us alone. Even though our door was closed, people kept just waltzing in, or following us in when we came back from a bathroom break. I totally had to just slam the door in one fairly annoying guy’s face. I guess there are worse problems in the world than people beating down your door to see what you have to offer, and I won’t be complaining when we do the open studios in the spring, but geez, it felt pretty invasive at the time.


Sunday, July 29th, 2007

A lot of changes have been in the works for the past few weeks, and then, suddenly, this week, everything became real.

The big change that pertains to this blog is that we have finally moved the 10×15 Chandler and Price New Style into the new studio space. By “we” I actually mean Rick and Dick from Shaugnessy Rigging and Transportation of New Hampshire.

Shelley, of Albertine Press fame, had recommended Shaughnessy to me. After doing some risk analysis of moving the press myself versus hiring professionals, I decided it was probably better to part with money than it was to part with life, limb, or the life and limb of friends.

C&P press partsOver the last week or two, I prepped the press as well as I could for the move. Removing the ink wheel and the ink wheel mount was easy. Removing the brake pedal and the throw-off lever were pretty easy. Removing the flywheel was sort of tricky because the key that holds it onto the crank shaft just wouldn’t budge. So, my only recourse was to remove it with the entire crank shaft. I removed the gear shield and, using some “liquid wrench” type spray stuff to loosen the key on the small gear on the other end of the crank shaft, used a gear puller to remove the small gear. Once that was off, I could pull off the whole flywheel with the crank shaft. I also took the opportunity to clean the press as much as I could in the time I had, since I figured that the studio’s ventilation isn’t as good as the ventilation in my garage, and I unfortunately really needed to use some nasty solvents to get rid of some of the decades of grease and rust. I still have some work to do in that department, even now that it’s in the studio.

There were two big hurdles that I figured we’d hit during the move. The first was the ramp to get from the loading dock up to the hallway. It was about a 25 degree grade, up about 3 or 4 feet. The second was just fitting it through the standard-sized door of the studio. I was pretty sure that that was going to be OK, though, since I took off the flywheel, and, based on my measurements, I had 4 inches to spare.

Rick, Dick, and helpful neighbor in the backgroundI was pretty much right. The guys got it out of the garage and onto the truck without much trouble, in under an hour. The drive there took longer than it should have because I unfortunately took my neighbor’s advice and tried a route that avoided some underpasses (which the 12′ truck would have had no problem with, in retrospect), but took about 15 minutes longer than it should have. Still, no big deal. The big problem was the ramp. After two unsuccessful attempts to get the press (on a pallette jack) up the ramp, with Dick pulling and me and Rick pushing, we ended up recruiting two guys from another business in the 86 Joy Street building to help us, and we made it up. It cleared the studio door with no problem.

Studio 105Since the move on Wednesday, I think I’ve probably been obsessing too much about getting the press cleaned up; I think I probably am at a point where it’s clean enough, and I just need to get it operational, and save my vision of getting it cleaned up enough to paint for the future. Terri has made some progress in setting up her corner of the studio.

There is much non-press-related going on, too, like getting a new job and quitting my current job, where I’ve been for 7 years. It’s a lot to take in! After our very brief trip to the studio today (I was exhausted after doing a ton of yard work from 9am - 1:30pm today), where we pretty much just dropped off some cases of type, we stopped at The Independent in Union Square and had a few glasses of wine and some fried almonds and stared out the big windows into Union Square. It felt like vacation. Much needed!

Galley Gab

Monday, July 23rd, 2007

Bieler Press points out Galley Gab, a monthly online publication on letterpress. It looks like the Rag & Bone blog mentioned it a few months ago, but I must have missed it. Actually, it looks like that Bieler Press mention is old as well, but my RSS reader just showed it again now, for some reason.


Galley Gab looks like it has great stuff!