I started as a letterpress printer in a basement shop full of type. I might’ve taken for granted the amount of type I had access to. I worked in other shops, was part of a collective with a beautiful type collection but rarely had any of my own. Most of what I print is a monthly postcard. It originated in type but now I mostly use polymet plates, a hardened, recyclable plastic. It isn’t ideal but it is cost-effective.
When Paper Machine was opening, a lot of people who thought letterpress printing had left the city came by to share stories of their dads and granddad’s print shops. Which is how the Gosserand Superior Printers wood type ended up here. Used for years in the production of posters for local jazz shows, this black owned printshop has been out of business for years, but their woodtype was donated to Paper Machine.
Monica Tyran is a New Orleans artist who write a grant to get the type cleaned and sorted so the modern day letterpress printers of the city could use it. And so we did! When I asked her to collaborate with me, we discussed a few ideas but this one was the obvious winner! We choose a few cuts from 3 different drawers. I inked them up in black and printed them on a little sign press here. I scanned the prints and sent them to Monica who designed the card pretty much as you see it. I ordered polymer plates and she came to the shop a few days before I left for summer vacation to see me print them on my windmill.
Mailed the 3rd week of August since the month before was a little late, from the last stop on my swimfest road trip, here is Keep Writing number 124, asking you to tell me about a collection you have.