This amazing museum is chock-full of a collection of antique printing presses and printing equipment like none I have ever seen. And if the machines were not captivating enough on their own, the sections of the museum and various presses were brought to life by the demonstrations and explanations of printers and museum docents, expert on the history and workings of the presses.
One of the old printing-related machines that was new to me was the linotype, a machine designed to cast lines of type exactly as typed in by the human operator on a keyboard. By taking away the need to set each piece of type individually, the linotype became one of the forward leaps in typesetting invention. For a $1 donation I got this fun keepsake from the show:
But perhaps my best keepsakes from the fair came from the presses of my good friend from graduate school, Cindy Iverson, who along with her husband Gary is the owner and proprietor of a wonderful book and paper business in Tempe, AZ, The Paper Studio. Cindy gave me this great hand letterpressed poster that she designed and printed with woodtype on her handmade paper–I love it, and of course it is headed straight for my studio wall!
Gary and Cindy were one of dozens of vendors, from letterpress printers, to papermakers, book artists and book arts groups, to specialty suppliers, and other printing craftspeople offering up their wares.
I came away from the fair with a number of really interesting conversations and hand letterpressed business cards in my pocket, not to mention a few more treasures for myself– handmade paper, hand-tubed ink, and other useful tools, but best of all the chance to reconnect with one of my favorite artist friends. It was a terrific event, one I hope to participate in one day down the road when I’ve got more of my own work to share. Here’s to the first of many Printers Fairs!
For much more about the fair read the Paper Studio’s series of blog posts here!