Archive for the 'Rainy Planet' Category

New carrrrrrrrds!

Monday, July 23rd, 2007

Oh, I forgot to mention that the print arts fair the other week was also the debut of our new pirate carrrrrrrrds!

Pirate Carrrrrrrrrrds!

Available at our Etsy store.

Rainy Planet @ Joy Street

Sunday, June 24th, 2007

After the print arts fair last weekend, Terri and I were pretty energized, and it pushed us that extra step that we needed to finally do some serious hunting for studio space. We really need more space to get our new C&P operational and to have all of our stuff in one place. The basement and garage just aren’t cutting it anymore.

My prior attempt to find space when we were getting the press was sort of a bust. At the time, I was trying to find a space to move into before the end of March, so that I didn’t have to move the press more than once, since it weighs 1800lbs (according to Briar Press; I don’t really have a scale that goes that high…). As it was, I couldn’t come up with something that quickly, so we just moved it into our garage, which itself was a little adventure.

So, we got motivated again at just the right time. Joy Street Studios are just completing a new phase of renovations and converted some more of their former industrial and warehouse space to artist studios. We went over last week and looked at some spaces. We talked it over for a day or so, and called back to reserve the studio we liked the best, and it was already gone! We realized that we probably needed to act quickly, so we went back over and decided on our second favorite studio, and put down a deposit.

So, now, the next step is to plan the move. We don’t have an official date that we can move in yet, since they still need to get some inspections done before the city lets them rent out the space. But even if that all cleared up tomorrow, we’re not even close to being ready on figuring out the logistics of moving the press out of the garage.

I’ve started by reading up a little, and there is good advice, as there almost always is, at the Five Roses letterpress intro page. I ordered my copy of Moving Heavy Things as suggested, and it does indeed have some pretty good general advice on, as the name suggests, moving heavy things. I remembered seeing a Flickr photoset of someone moving a C&P, and that was actually really useful to helping me visualize what the whole move is going to take, so I solicited some advice from Matt Borghi, the user who posted that photoset. There is very specific info on moving a Gordon style press like a Chandler & Price here, and more photos and advice here.

So, I’m starting to feel like it’s possible. But if anybody has any additional advice, I certainly wouldn’t turn down any pearls of wisdom you care to throw my way!

Print Arts Fair wrap-up

Sunday, June 24th, 2007

It’s been an eventful week— more on that soon— so I haven’t had a lot of time to write my dispatch about the 4th Annual Print Arts Fair at the Museum of Printing last weekend.

It’s only the second fair of any kind that we’ve sold stuff at, and it was very different from the Bazaar Bizarre. It was much more of a for-printers-by-printers affair, where at least half of the people who came by the booth were fellow printers, the majority of them more experienced than I. And many of the non-printers were asking probing questions and had that look in their eye, like they were catching the bug.

Popular question #1 was “where can I buy a press?”, and the answer was “go talk to him” and I’d point across the way to John Barrett’s Letterpress Things table:
Letterpress Things table

Popular question #2 was “how do I learn more?”, and the answer to that was “go talk to her”, and I’d point to Kelly McMahon of the May Day Studio at the next booth over, who has been teaching workshops at Letterpress Things. Of course, there were lots of other good answers to both of those questions, as many of the other vendors actually had small presses for sale right there, and there were plenty of other people there who teach all sorts of book arts type things).
Kelly McMahon of May Day Studio

I was happy to meet several people to whom I had only talked online or only briefly met in person, like Shelley of Albertine Press, who has already posted her wrap-up of the day. Shelley and her studio-neighbors Taza Chocolates were the ones behind the Paper & Chocolate event I wrote about earlier this year. Also, her Albertine Press was featured in that Weekly Dig article I mentioned a while back, and she actually scanned the thing in (it never materialized online).

Since I was at the booth, I didn’t get much time to see much of the demos, but I managed to take this video of a Kelly B Automatic Cylinder Press in action.

Here are the other presentable photos I took of the event. Once Terri posts the photos that she took, I’ll link them up here, too.

I was very happy to participate, and I definitely owe many thanks to Leslie Evans of Sea Dog Press and the other organizers who made it all possible. The whole event was hugely inspiring and motivational.

Rainy Planet is serious leisure

Thursday, June 7th, 2007

Girlprinter has a great post on doing things for money vs. fun. Her meditation was triggered by a NYT column by Freakonomics authors Stephen J. Dubner and Steven D. Levitt on the question of why so many relatively well-off Americans choose to do menial labor such as knitting, crafting, and cooking.

The whole thing is very relevant to me and how I got back into the whole letterpress thing, as an antidote to my day job as a web developer. The web is all about getting words and pictures published across the globe instantly. It certainly has some good aspects: I can read girlprinter’s post written in Australia without her having to put some piece of paper in the mail, have it take a boat or plane across the pacific, and then take another plane or train to Boston. It is democratic: you don’t have to shell out thousands of dollars to get your words and ideas into the hands of millions.

In comparison, letterpress is very elitist: the means of production is concentrated in the hands of the few. It is mainly practised by and for people who could do things the easy way, but who have the leisure to do things the hard way.

Questions of the socio-politics of letterpress aside, I basically am on board with Dubner and Leavitt’s argument: “Whether or not you’re getting paid, it’s work if someone else tells you to do it and leisure if you choose to do it yourself.” That’s pretty much why the RPP exists, because I’m choosing to do it, because I think it’s fun.

If I happen to break even by selling some stuff here and there, so much the better.

RPP Mention in Weekly Dig

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

Bookplates We got a nice little small blurb with a picture of the owl bookplates in Boston’s Weekly Dig. If you live in the area, trot yourself over to one of the bright orange paper boxes, and pick up a copy. We’re on the first page of the “Department of Commerce” section.

I’ll link it up as soon as it posts to the website.

4th Annual Print Arts Fair

Sunday, May 27th, 2007

LGNE Print Arts Fair
The Letterpress Guild of New England and the Museum of Printing are putting on their fourth annual print arts fair at the Museum of Printing in North Andover, MA on June 17.

Last year’s event was big fun, both motivational and educational. If you’re in New England, especially if you’ve never been to the Museum of Printing before, it’s absolutely worth the trip.

This year I’ll not only be going, I’ll be there at a table selling Rainy Planet stuff!

Where have I been?

Friday, May 25th, 2007

So, I’ve been pretty slack about posting in the past few months, and yet there’s been a fair bit going on.

At the end of March, I managed to add a C&P 10×15 New Style press to the Rainy Planet stable. The acquisition really means that I’ve outgrown my basement, so I have been looking (with less diligence than is really required for the task) for some studio space in Somerville. More on that soon.

I’ve had a couple of custom jobs come along, which have been fun and in some cases challenging.

I finally bit the bullet and tried out some of Crane’s Lettra paper. It’s awesome. I did two different sets of wedding invitations using ecruwhite 100lb Lettra. (The invitations were for family and friends: I’m not sure that doing paid custom wedding invitation jobs isn’t more trouble than it’s worth).

Now that you’re up to date, a few more posts about the future are on the way…

Some recent acquisitions of interest

Saturday, March 17th, 2007

New Antique TypewriterI picked up this fantastic working Remington Portable typewriter a couple of months ago for a mere $10 at Downstairs At Felton Street Antiques in Waltham, Mass. The ribbon was pretty much shot, but I picked up a new 1/2″ ribbon at the typewriter shop (which also sells mint condition antique typewriters for $200-$600) when we went to Portsmouth a few months ago. I had to spool it onto the very specific-sized spools on the typewriter to get it to fit.

Remington PortableIt works well enough to use, with plenty of the lovable quirks that you would hope for in a piece of antique machinery: the faster you type, the less even the letter spacing. The line spacing never is exactly the same between lines. The roller is a bit old and leaves black streaks on the paper. It goes to the trouble of having fraction keys, but to make a “1″ you have to type a lowercase ell, and to make an exclamation point, you have to type period backspace apostrophe.

On the top, there is an old Remington seal that says “To Save Time Is to Lengthen Life”. That sounded like Ben Franklin, but apparently it was Woodrow Wilson.

Speedball Brayer for block printingAlso, at Mass Antiques Co-op next door, I picked up this Speedball Brayer, in a cool box. It’s perfectly usable and, at $8, it was cheaper than a new one. I might just use it on the press.

Rag & Bone Blog

Wednesday, March 14th, 2007

I have been delinquent in mentioning how much I like the Rag & Bone Blog. I’ve been a fan of the bindery for a while (I believe Terri’s & my wedding guest book was a Rag & Bone product, purchased ca. 2001).

It’s how I found out about Magpie moving, as well as the library-scented perfume that I mentioned in the other blog.

Magpie is moving

Friday, March 2nd, 2007

I’m happy to see that Magpie, Somerville’s crafty-arty-goods store is moving closer to the heart of Davis Square. For you Sommervillains, their new location is where Poor Little Rich Girl used to be. There was also a write-up in this week’s Weekly Dig.
They’re having a store-warming party this Saturday, March 3. If we weren’t already going up to Maine for an engagement party, we’d be there.