Monday, March 2, 2009


Unfortunately, I'm not referring to the edible kind topped with ice cream!

On Saturday we drove over near Boulder, CO to pick up my latest letterpress treasures, including an old paper cutter dating back to the late 1800s (lovingly referred to as "junk" by my husband as he loaded all 400 pounds or so of it into the truck), two cabinets to hold trays of letterpress type, several trays with type, and many, many other miscellaneous treasures. I'm bad at estimating weights, but I'd guess the total weight of everything we moved was close to 1,500 pounds. Maybe more. But I'm downright giddy at all the new stuff I have to play with.

In letterpress printing old-school style, you use individual pieces of type that are arranged to spell words. In the best kind of world, all of the type is sorted and neatly housed in its tray, with each tray holding type of a single font and a single font size. In the worst-case scenario kind of world, the type is all jumbled together--it's pied. Pied type goes for cheap because few people have the patience to spend the hours it will take to sort it. But I love cheap. And I have a weird love for sorting and organizing things.

Some of my type was jostled during the drive home and ended up at the bottom of the cabinet. I also ended up with a few boxes of pied type, so I'll be spending my nights this week working on this box of type, which I actually have in mind to use for a gardening project this week (details to follow). For now I am just getting all the type lined up and oriented the same way, and then I'll put it away in a tray.

Good times!

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