Monday, October 22, 2012

Shop-Warming Party

The Chandler & Price is wired and running, my press sign carved and painted. Basically, it's time to party. My shopmate the blacksmith Derek Heidemann and I decided we were ready to face the public as a joint letterpress/lettercarving/blacksmithing operation and chose the Sunday before Halloween as a good day for a shop-warming party. We completely nailed the weather: beautiful, blue and crisp, fall at the height of its range. With an enormous assist from my mother and aunt in the culinary department, and a reputable pub's worth of seasonal beer (including half a keg left over from a recent wedding), we welcomed upwards of forty folks over the course of eight hours. And it was capped off with a screening of Night of the Living Dead projected onto the side of our building. The party was such a success that we're already talking about a winter version. Some pictures of the event:

First inking. Brand-new rollers on a press that hasn't yielded an inked impression in about 30 years.

Sun Hill Aubergine. My first, and until today only, can of ink!

A day of firsts. First impression pulled. What a relief: the impressional strength of the press was set at just about the right pressure for a form of this size. I was worried about having to do a lot of bolt-and-wrenching to get a decent result. I took a look at Derek's banner and realized that Iron Works is two words instead of one. This correction gave me the chance to do some kerning on my Miller saw. Awesome!

Derek's setup.

My Aunt Annie with a personalized cake for the party host. 

A stack of keepsakes for visitors to the shop. Set in 24-point Romulus with ornament made up of Teague corner pieces.

Derek shows off his work. He's definitely got the whole making beautifully useful objects out of wrought iron-thing figured out.

Nick Benson checks out some of my printing. I was so psyched he, Paul Russo and Christine Dunn came to represent the JSS. I certainly wouldn't be in a position to party without their help and encouragement. Cheers, bras!

Derek demonstrates his craft. People were invited to step up to the anvil and bang out some nails, hooks and the occasional spike. I cannot wait to make a spike.

My mother makes a nail.

mjb and John Barrett.

Fun for the whole family!

Night of the Living Dead. The perfect ending to an Afternoon of the Not-Quite-Dead Traditional Crafts and the Very-Much-Living People Who Preserve Them.