this past weekend, i headed down to the LA printer’s fair at the international print museum in carson to get my annual dose of awesome letterpress projects and enjoy the demos of the old linotype machine. i feel like i’m inching my way ever-closer to doing more printing after attending last year and then doing a workshop with the night shift [a group that meets at the museum and makes prints using the wood and metal type in the archives].
this year was another great selection of design and print, hand-bound books, and specialty printing tools. one of my favorites, fugu fugu press, was back again this year with a really cute selection of cards and prints.
another printer had this really cute idea of giving away make-ready scraps in little bags. some of the shapes make great book marks, but mostly i chose some nice, deeply-impressed pieces to stave off my letterpress lust until i can make my own.
what’s this? it’s a paper pulper! what i couldn’t capture all in one frame is that this pulp mechanism was hooked up to a stationary bike [maybe we can finally call it a ‘stationery bike’] where riders could power the whole contraption by simply pedaling their feet.
…but this paper isn’t made from wood. this demo showed how to make paper from army fatigues! it looked pretty cool, and takes the pounding from a typewriter like a pro.
these books were some of the more unique hand-made crafts i saw, with beautifully sanded wood and intricate bindings. in addition to the sales tables, there were printing demos where attendees could run off their own pre-set posters, and typesetting, where guests could typeset their names, hand it to a printer who would lock it into a frame, and print you a personalized souvenir as a visitor to the museum. fantastic!
to help keep hot metal type alive, the museum has started the ludlow project, with the goal of rescuing a collection of typefaces and antique ludlow typecasting equipment to share with letterpress printers, museum visitors and use in teaching classes. watch the video below, and give what you can to this awesome project!