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Monthly ArchiveFebruary 2012

Studio projects Wednesday February 22 2012 01:29 pm

Craig Cutler / day 2

I had to put a couple of images from Craig Cutler’s second day of shooting for his CC52 project.

Above is Craig arranging a bunch of woodtype ampersands and Craig, with Jeff assisting, balanced over his 4 x 5.

This was the final shot of Craig (second from left) shooting a killer portrait of our Intertype. The outcome was stunning. Nice that he didn’t ask us to move the 3,400 pound beauty. That’s Tre (pronouced tray) to the right and Tray in the middle. Always nice to have two Tray’s in the studio at the same time.

The Polaroids looked great. We can’t wait to see the finishes of the whole event.

Any VC grads out there that want to get together at the show’s opening in Manhattan in the middle of May? Would be nice to see some old faces.

Studio projects Tuesday February 21 2012 11:37 am

Craig Cutler, CC52 and Lead Graffiti

New York photographer Craig Cutler is nearing the end of CC52, his year-long series of weekly personal projects, and has chosen to shoot #49 at Lead Graffiti in our Newark, Delaware letterpress studio. It is interesting to watch Craig dig through our cabinets and shelves, reminding us of the beauty in our everyday objects and things stuck in corners attracting ever thickening layers of dust and spider webs.

It was satisfying to share our cathedral of wood & metal type with Craig’s reverence for film. Craig is shooting in black / white and color on 4 x 5 and an exhibition celebrating his creative journey is planned for New York in May.

Below is a photo taken by Jeff Cate who was assisting on the project showing Ray and Tray dismantling the day’s first set-up composed from our 96 point Caslon foundry metal type.

We’ll be sure to announce when the images from the Lead Graffiti shoot are online which should be around March 8th.

Ray and Tray and CC52

This is a photograph of Craig working with some found type from our ‘hell box’.

Ray and Tray and CC52

Studio projects Thursday February 16 2012 02:08 pm

Resurfacing our SP15 ink drum roller

Maybe five years ago we bought our Vandercook SP15 on eBay. When it got here the one major problem was that the ink drum was quite scratched from the automatic cleaning bar that scraped the ink off it. Lately we’ve been having trouble printing evenly with it and started to deduce that it might be a combination of the colder weather (and colder ink) and the ink drum dropping ink on rather erratically as the press ran.

We’ve wanted to get it remilled for years and finally got around to doing it this week.

I’m not sure what we expected, but we gasped when they brought it out. There is nothing like having the right tool for the right job.

Our studio is a 2,200 square foot space in an industrial park and as it turns out there is a grinding service just down the street called J&A Grinding that we’ve been using to sharpen our cutter blades since we moved in. We asked them if they could mill the surface of our drum smooth and they said, “No problem.”

It cost us $150 as it took at least 7 or 8 passes to get all but one small area that just seemed dangerously deep, but very, very small. I wish I had taken a photo of it before the milling to show you how much damage there was, but above is one of the finished job.

Honestly, we aren’t going to use the auto-cleaning any more. We also might just take all of the other metal rollers and let them take one pass across them all and just have it like new again.

I also think we’ll start adding ink on the rubber rollers instead of hitting the metal ones with an ink knife.