Sunday April 12 from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
But First, Coffee with Brian Wood of Dogs & Stars
A caffeine-fueled letterpress printing workshop with Brian Wood. Print your favorite coffee quote! Students will use wood and metal type to create a print (just about any size) exclaiming their need/passion/love for coffee. Students will take home ready to frame one-of-a-kind letterpress prints. And of course, coffee will be served!
4 times a year, the Book Arts League hosts an open house, opening the doors to the public to see our historic farmhouse and bunkhouse (where most of the printing equipment is located). It’s always wonderful to meet so many new people interested in our efforts to preserve the arts of the book!
This open house Book Arts League volunteer/member Brian Wood, who focuses on wood type, printed a broadside showcasing the beauty and impact of wood type in a large format. Prints were free to all who attended, as well as locally roasted Proper Grounds Coffee and freshly baked cookies were there to comfort folks on a rainy afternoon.
Press in action: Vandercook: Sp15
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Please join us Sunday, June 8 from 1-4pm for an open house at the Ewing Farm and Bunkhouse. Come see a live printing demo featuring antique wood type on a Vandercook press. Free prints for all who attend!
Between the printing on vintage presses and the historic Ewing Farmhouse, it’s like stepping back in time – when things where all done by hand and created with passion and carefully executed.
The event is free and open to all!
Sunday June 8
Ewing Farmhouse & Bunkhouse
1915 N 95th St., Lafayette CO 80026
This treadle powered platen jobber was probably built in the 1880’s, about the time the Ewing family settled here and planted the large catalpa tree outside. The press was built in Chicago by the Schneidewend & Lee Company, an established maker of presses.
About 40 years earlier printers had started experimenting with presses that could print small items like cards and billheads (job printing) faster and more easily than the large iron hand presses of the day. In 1851 one of these inventors, George Phineas Gordon, applied for a patent of a new design, which he said Benjamin Franklin (America’s most famous printer) had shown him in a dream. After making some improvements he called his press the Ben Franklin Gordon.
Gordon’s design proved extremely popular. After his patents expired as many as eighteen different manufacturers brought out a version of the press, which came to be called the Old Style Gordon. Gordon designed and patented a new press but it did not prove to be very popular.
This press was once owned by Verlin Ringle, who was once the editor-publisher of the Aspen Times in the 1940’s. Some time in the early 1950’s the press fell off a ski parade float and was badly damaged. The pieces of the broken press lay in Mr. Ringle’s garage almost 40 years until discovered by Denver area printer Tom Parson and paper maker Ray Tomasso. Some parts were missing.
Tom described the reconstruction:
“So Ray and I figured out how it all went back together, and Ray fabricated the main shaft and bearing for it. Ray used his huge hydraulic paper press to fit the copper bearing on the shaft. We spent many hours on it even having to disassemble it after we just finished everything, because we hadn’t figured on the new treadle cam on the shaft hitting underneath when we finally turned it over. That was about 2 am! We stamped our initials and the date on the end of the new shaft.”
Tom printed on the press one summer at the Oro City Minig Camp Demonstration in Leadville. Eventually this old press found a home with the Book Arts League. The final piece of the puzzle was completed when Rob Slentz did an ingenious reconstruction of the throw off mechanism.
– Earl NoeRead More »