Isn't this the most beautiful thing you've ever seen? I picked it up last weekend after seeing it posted on Craigslist. It's a Kelsey Excelsior letterpress. It was a good price, although it definitely needs some work. I plan on, over the next few months, spending a little time and money to get it operational. It needs new rollers, for sure. As you can see (left side of the press), they are pretty decrepit. I am amazed that parts for these old presses are still available. Apparently, the letterpress is experiencing a revival with the DIY and "maker" crowds.
My intention is to print my smaller linoleum blocks with this press. I imagine that I will be more productive and be able to print larger editions with this press. The larger prints and the 3-D pieces will still be printed on the etching press.
Also, with this purchase, I have decided to resurrect Coffee Fish Press, which is the name I had for a fledgling (and foundering) greeting card business. In the future I will be offering cards, journals and other hand-printed goods and gifts. This most likely will be on Etsy. The official launch isn't going to be until I have the press up and running, of course. This minor detail didn't stop me from carving a linoleum with the updated logo.
So begins the adventure of getting my letterpress to a fully functional stage. It will be a quite the process. I will post with pics, videos and progress notes.
Good grief, I am finally finished carving all nine blocks.
Once these are printed, I will have them available individually (in the shop) and as a matted set. I'm not going to forecast when I will be able to print them. The next few weeks are occupied with art fairs. Keep checking back!
Last weekend I started a linocut series, ironically titled The Rayguns of History. At first, it was going to be a series of four, then went to 6. I am stopping, at least for now, at nine. My fear is that they are going to start looking all alike. The blocks measure 5 x 4 inches. My plan is to make them available individually, framed or unframed, or as a set, all in one frame.
Why rayguns, do you ask?
I grew up, like many my age, watching old science fiction movies and television. The St. Louis TV station KPLR broadcast several episodes of the Flash Gordon serial every Saturday morning. Other stations from the same area had Sci Fi Cinema and Creature Feature. This was long before cable television, we lived about 60 miles from St Louis, and if the weather wasn't just right, the station didn't come in. Of course, there was also Star Trek, Lost in Space, The Time Tunnel and The Invaders. A sci-fi kid in the 1960's had a lot of choices!
One of the first sci-fi movies I remember seeing on TV was George Pal's War of the Worlds. It's still one of my all-time favorites. So, although I have never read much science fiction, I certainly watched a lot of it on TV. Rockets, rayguns, and flying saucers were part of my childhood.
I will be posting more during the process, ending with posting the final prints. I will have them available in my Shop.
And here's another time-lapse video, making the preliminary cuts on the third to last lino of the series.