Monday, October 27, 2008

the Forest Drive

The long yearned for review of word and image is finally on the press.

The plan is to work closely with a few writers and artists in the studio to form a cohesive book/object/utterance in honor of the Forest Drive in all our lives. So far poems by me (Fiona Spring), Desiree Morales and Sophia Kidd and drawings by Chance are in the mix.

Some notes on development:
The challenge has been the conflict between the desire to produce the highest quality edition and the lack of monetary resources. Finally the brilliance of the whole thing took root and I realized that the answer would be to utilize fine papers that we have on hand and set all the poems in metal type rather than ordering costly photopolymer plates. Now I'm inviting artists to carve linoleum or work with sandragraph techniques (as above) using materials we have in the studio.

The edition will be around 80 copies and a smaller number may be hard bound.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

An Evening in Fillmore

Lately we've been out to meet our neighbors every chance we get. Whether it's at Golden Gate Park or at the local library, We are in a sociable mood!

Yesterday we spent the evening in downtown Fillmore showing off our Pilot table top press. To our amazement, the man who used to teach letterpress at Fillmore High with the equipment we now use was one of the first visitors at our booth. We'd never met before and there was excitement all around. He seemed so pleased to know that the presses are still in use. He was the perfect picture of a shop teacher with a freshly pressed short sleeved shirt and matching blue canvas pants. A dapper and cheerful man we hope to see more of so we can learn the origins of our beloved machines.

Yma set up her snacks and stuffed animals on this brick planter pictured below.

Downtown Fillmore is lovely! As the night came on a cool breeze brought oaky and citrusy smells into town. All the little antique shops were tricked out for the Art Harvest and offering some great deals I might add. I felt proud to be a resident of the Heritage Valley.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Art Predator Cranks Press

Art Predator just posted a blog about working here at our studio on elegant business cards (above) and stationery. Her design sense was really impressive. She took stock of what was available and quickly put all the elements together in an expression of her mission as a writer.

This kind of collaboration is really what Lettre Sauvage is about. In a day-long workshop we can cover a lot of basic printing skills and vocabulary while creating valuable paper goods.

The studio is also available for rental. We can shift gears to a support/resource role for printers who have trained with us to get set up for a project like printing their own book or making cards. Use of the press includes storage space, getting in on bulk paper & supply orders, sitting under the oak tree and a library of books about books.

Capsule Design Festival

This Sunday, October 19, we'll be at Capsule Design Festival in San Francisco in the lovely Hayes Valley area. There will be about 160 designers, artists and musicians for us to hang out with in the park while grooving to DJs. Our booth is #29. We'll have new journals and t-shirts along with our books, broadsides and cards.

Capsule is a collective of selected designers including clothing, furniture, jewelry, studio art and paper goods. We're excited to be among the few stationery vendors. We recognized Lizard Press on the line up-- we met at Bazaar Bizarre in SF last winter. We really like their style and craftsmanship.

San Francisco, your city lights beckon us...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Rich & The Poor

Our friend Frank Boross from Eye-Yi-Yi Digital Video and Toxic Coyote Press just worked on a music video The Rich & The Poor by Carl Morehouse, former mayor of my home town, Ventura, California. The sweet sound of a voice standing up for the basic dignity of people, for the possibility of peace and justice…

Everything Frank is involved with is top-notch. I wish he had a site with a gallery of his graphic design and printing that I could refer to. I can refer you to a very different project, a book he did with the comedy writer Sean Maher.

Sean is someone I met in the early 90s when he was starting to do stand-up at Ventura clubs I was too young to go to. His insightful spoofs of some of the most popular mental crutches are hilarious. Here are a couple of one-liners from his cards:

“If at first you don't succeed,
pout and mope around.”

“Human rights should be
reserved for the elite.”

My commentary on humor may be a little obtuse. Thoughts seem to be stacked on one another as if some would fall off the pile if they were no longer supported by the deeper ones at the foundation. I think that good humor brings thoughts out that most people don’t know how to handle. Ideas that might otherwise be depressing, cold, or frustrating are suddenly funny.

Obviously, Sean does this “pulling out the dirty thoughts” thing. But he seems to get at some of those deeper elements to really shake up the mind. Check it out. Am I romanticizing this guy’s talent because I lounged in his bachelor pad as a psychedelic 16 year old? No, he’s really funny.