I printed a stack of these blog tickets to hand out this Sunday at the Printing Fair at the Museum of Printing in North Andover, and if you're reading this because I gave you one, thank you kindly for stopping by. I've been going to the Fair for the last sevens years as a printer and volunteer factotum, but this time I tried out a new capacity, literally hanging out my slate shingle as a lettercarver.
In the background here you can see the tent belonging to fellow lettercarver Tracy Mahaffey, a quite remarkably talented sculptor and lettering artist who made the trip from her home in northwest Rhode Island. For a while now Tracy and I have had a lot of friends in common in the small but fairly tight-knit carving community in New England, so it was only a matter of time before our paths crossed. The circumstances could not have been finer. It was great to have another carver on site because then if you were to call me crazy you'd have to call Tracy crazy too. And Tracy is not crazy. But she is very cool.
So were all the people who passed by my booth on the way into the museum. I take a lot of pride in playing an ambassadorial role in presenting letterpress and now lettercarving to people who either aren't aware that these crafts exist or have been allowed to forget by the unsentimental sweep of technological advancement. So it was quite a thrill to see the look on the faces of children and adults alike at the notion that you can put letters in stone...by hand! I may even have managed to convince some people that it's the only way to do it. Hard not to feel optimistic about the prospects of opening a printing and lettercarving shop when people respond so enthusiastically to your work. Thanks to everyone who made it such a fun day.