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Moving Through

Letterpress Thesis

loupeWhen I left this morning -- reluctantly -- to go back to printing, I couldn't get over how weird it is how much I can dread doing things I like.  I created the thesis project I am working on!  I love each and every thing it entails -- the writing!  the designing!  the printing!  the calligraphy!  the stamp collecting!  My brain said to myself when thinking all this through, "This is going to be the most fun you've ever had!" Except, apparently, when it comes time to clock in and get the work done.  What do you mean, world?   I can't just sit in a coffee shop and dream about how lovely this will all be?  Or pore over inspirational images?  Or track down another stamp show?  My feelings about printing are tantamount to Dorothy Parker's on a related subject:  "I hate writing, I love having written." Suffice it to say that I was digging my heels in a little bit about being in the studio all weekend.  But I went anyway (of course), and in the midst of plodding through the patchy inking and registration woes, I peeked through the loupe -- a little magnifying tool in the picture above that allows you to see your type way up close -- and was arrested.  It was so gorgeous -- that blown up type embedded into soft, lovely paper -- I dedicated a good ten minutes to trying to get an iPhone camera to capture something akin to what I was seeing. This was one moment of a handful that made me stop in my tracks today.  Letterpress printing is certainly full of moments of frustration, agony, and even despair if you're prone to melodramatics as I am.  But it's also drenched in moments of beauty that are such constants they can escape your notice.  If I keep my eyes open, they can convince me to love printing as much as having printed.


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  • Cheryl on

    I’m so familiar with this feeling! There is a joy I in lettering I feel in no other sphere in my life. But there are totally days when I don’t want to work!


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