A few months ago I was cleaning up after a long day of printing and my iTunes shuffled to a favorite old jam. As I was grooving and singing (and wondering what my neighbors thought of my song and dance routine through the open windows), I realized I had gone through the exact same steps to the exact same song once… more than once—countless times—before.
Over nine years, six homes, two countries, the beginning and end of a marriage, a ridiculously dramatic work life, family ups and downs, and a million other things, Bess has been the one constant in my life. Somehow this 135-year-old piece of machinery has always been whatever I needed—a creative outlet, a new skill to learn, something to fill my days when I was lonely, a boost of confidence, and finally a full time job I could move abroad.
So here’s to Bess, I can’t wait to see what the next nine years bring.
I’ve been on a cleaning and organizing kick lately. I’ve got one little corner of my studio to go and then my entire work space will be de-cluttered, de-stashed and all the dust bunnies and tiny spiders will be chased out of their homes.
Since printing up the new collection, my in-stock inventory is overflowing a bit, which really works out for you guys, because I’m having a spring cleaning sale! Through the end of May, all card orders of three or more get one additional card free! Choose the card you’d like by including a note to seller at check out, or I’ll just double up on one of the designs you’ve already chosen. Happy shopping!
One of my oldest and dearest friends moved to Houston last year, and I finally got down to visit a few weeks ago. We did a bunch of fun stuff, but I though you’d all like to see photos from The Printing Museum! Here’s just a small selection of the photos I took—I highly recommend stopping in for yourself!
I love these miniature presses
That’s a Pearl just like Bess in the back of the workshop!
A fully restored version of my press!
Each January, there seems to be a surge in new business card clients, mostly small business owners or freelancers looking to finally get some professional business cards made. It’s one of my favorite influxes—such a fun way to kick start the year—and this year did not disappoint!
I still have a few projects in the works, but I finished the first two sets last week so I thought I’d share!
Jori beat the rush by getting in touch on New Year’s Eve for her new cards. She wanted a very simple design with just the right typeface, and I loved her attention to the font we used. Most people don’t realize it, but a typeface often sets the mood for the design, so this friendly, modern, clean face works perfectly for her!
Troy got in touch a few days later after purchasing a card from one of my Wisconsin stockists over the holidays. He had done his research, checking out my work on this very website (Hi, Troy!) and knew exactly what he was looking for. The parameters he provided were really inspiring to me, and I came up with a ton of amazing design options for him. I love the one he picked (above)—they just may be my favorite business cards to date!
I also thought I’d share a few of the other initial designs I created for him. I love them so much, I’d hate to never have them see the light of day, so if you’re interested in updating one with your information, get in touch!
We had a tragedy here at 622 press about two weeks ago. I’ve been so stressed out about it, I barely spoke a word about it to anyone.
Bess has been put through the ringer in Bermuda, but nothing could be worse than a crack through one of two main joints (which create the pressure that makes the beautiful impression into paper). I had her all cranked up and off-kilter, trying to get a decent impression on an uneven printing plate. I knew what the awful sound was as soon as it happened, but I prayed “Don’t be broken. Don’t be broken.” as I opened the press back up anyway.
This had happened once before, several years ago, so once I finished a mini cry session, I started searching for a cast iron welder in Bermuda. Welding cast iron is requires more skill and equipment than your average metal, as the surrounding material needs to be heated thoroughly to bond with the new weld. Last time, my superhero dad just happened to know a guy who fixed it right away. This time, I had to disassemble my press and send it off in the back of a junky car with a stranger.
It turns out the welder (the only result when I searched for a cast iron welder in Bermuda) didn’t have a kiln large enough to fit the top bit of my press into, so he ended up completely taking it apart—but don’t worry, he sent me a picture that looked like a pile of scrap metal, as though that would ease my anxiety. Several days (more than three times as many as quoted) and several hundred dollars (more than twice as much as quoted) later, Bess is back home.
I’ve been quite timid with her so far, but I’ve been able to get two projects finished since she’s been back, so it seems like things will be ok. I’m trying to take the whole experience as a lesson in mindfulness—a reminder that unfortunately has been sorely needed. Not only would I never have broken her if I had really been paying attention, but I also let ink dry on several pieces of equipment the week prior because I got distracted during clean up.