For anyone who followed the Briar Press auction a few years ago, for a complete print shop in Ohio which was moved to California, here is what the buyer has to say:
“I’m obsessed with things that are distinctly analogue. We have a letterpress in our office. There’s an absolute wonderful imperfection that you get when you do a letterpress, and that is the beauty of it. The time that is put in setting the type and running the press, inking the rollers, all that stuff – that kind of thing is clearly an extreme example. But it’s the beauty of the actual investment of time, and the amount of time that goes by lets you consider things that somehow, in a kind of weird osmosis or spiritual way, is somehow implicit in the final product. And that seems to not exist much any more.”
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Very cool. Thanks for posting this.
Oh wow.. How do you know it was him that bought it?
“There’s an absolute wonderful imperfection that you get when you do a letterpress, and that is the beauty of it.”
I didn’t know someone could do a letterpress. :¬)
What imperfection is the author talking about? I’ll say most of my work and those printers from around the country are actually extraordinary printers.
Perhaps he is refering to the “hailo” around the type impression due to the pressure of the type or plate into the surface of the paper.
Yeah, I’m guessing he’s referring more to what Paul Moxon would call Punk Rock printing, where not a lot of attention is paid to perfect printing, and maybe the distressed look you get from very worn wood type?
enriquevw - I know it was Abrams because I was contacted to sell the print shop, by an attorney who was handling the estate of the late owner of the print shop. Neither the attorney or representatives of the production company representing Abrams, knew anything about letterpress much less the expense of moving this kind of shop, so I had to walk them through the process. It took a great deal of explanation. At the time and after the auction, I was asked about the buyer, but felt I should not discuss the particulars.
Elizabeth: cool story :) Thanks.
Punk Rock printing
Some of us like that stuff, as well as the “perfect” work.
Jonsel, of course.. it’s not a pejorative term in any way. I just thought that maybe that’s what JJ Abrams was referring to.
One of the things I enjoy most about tutoring folks on skills and techniques of letterpress printing is the absolute joy in their eyes when they print their first piece and look at it and are amazed that they actually did it.
And I know how good it feels to hear from folks who you helped get started who are really enjoying what they are doing now. That’s one of the things which keeps me going (and helps me endure the slings and arrows of outrageous commentaries)
Letterpress printing is a manual/mechanical craft that brings a specific and certain joy to the printer. It offers a connection to the past and the printers who printed before us. We become part of that continuum.
It’s nice to be able to preserve and pass on not only the equipment that was used in the past, but that feeling that was enjoyed by other printers in the past.
When we help someone become empowered as a letterpress printer - whether with training or the equipment to print with, we’re contributing to the continuum.
That’s one of the things that Briar Press does best.
Keep it up.
- Alan Runfeldt