Porchlight Press

It’s funny how your priorities shift when time is on the line. Like this blog for example. We spent hours over the duration of our travels editing, writing, and photographing all the little bits we felt compelled to share. The time we spent writing each night was a great way to reflect on the day. We both really enjoyed writing as a creative outlet outside of the constraints of our usual suspect – our iMacs. It also forced us in a way to focus on the details and gave us a greater appreciation for the depth of experience we were having. It was sort of a way to sit down and talk about what we were grateful for – whether it be the lunch we had or the friends we made. I should also say how easy it was to set aside the time to blog, as we were on no particular schedule and had endless amounts of time.

Now we are back and have settled into somewhat of a regular routine. We’re both back behind our screens and working eagerly each day – maxing out our creative fulfillment. However, as hard as I try getting back to blogging, it seems an insurmountable task. There is plenty going on that I’d love to share and I do miss blogging in a sort of therapeutic way. It seems to nicely cap off a day and clear my mind. But for some reason we just can’t keep up and the only thing I can think to blame is time – and maybe the landscape. There is far too much to do here and only so many hours in the day.

On that note, and while I’m at it, we decided after spending time at Hamilton Wood Type that we absolutely wanted to take a letterpress workshop. Well that my friends has come and gone, check your mailboxes as we have some festive mailings on the way.

On Sunday afternoon we headed across the bridge to Porchlight Press for an afternoon letterpress workshop. From the moment we walked in we were completely captivated. Heather, the owner, is an unbelievable sweetheart, she is welcoming and helpful plus her mother makes the absolute best Apple Cider in the Lower Mainlands and maybe even the Pacific North West.

After a short tutorial we kind of just jumped in. A small amount of planning was involved as I quickly remembered the old school phrase K.I.S.S – keep it simple stupid. And thankful I was for that lesson because as it turns out, letterpress is really hard! Puzzle lovers, this is your calling. Quit your jobs because there is money in professional puzzling. Once we decided on a layout the task is to build a lock up from various pieces of furniture (small wooden pieces measured in points and picas and used to hold your design in place). An hour later, and after a bit of assistance, we were ready to go on press – a traditional Vandercook press.

The best part about hand setting the layout is getting to see your hard work on the print bed, freshly inked and ready to roll. The second best is getting to see that first piece printed and to feel the impression in the paper. The process was nostalgic of our first year in college – where we would be completely hands on from the start all the way to end of our designs. The sounds of the press rolling, clicking and clattering was a welcome break from the constant humming of our iMacs.

If you have any interest in type, or printing or printing history, go find your local letterpress shop and sign up for a workshop. If they don’t offer workshops we are sure they will give you a tour instead! Happy printing!

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