Why I Launched a Letterpress Podcast
The “letterpress resurgence” over the past several years swept us into the fold. My wife is effectively a life-long, self-trained artist and I’ve been along for the ride. Once we started down the letterpress path with our first Kelsey 5×8, there was no turning back. But, how to learn? What supplies do we need? And so. many. other. questions.
What’s great is that there are countless online discussions, websites, and forums that address these and so many other topics. They’re helpful and informative and intended to spread the “letterpress love” to others who want to learn. There’s probably an article out there for most major topics.
A lot of the people blazing the path have a sincere desire to educate others on printing. I’ve actually been taken aback many times by thinking “they shared so much… isn’t that a ‘trade secret’?”. But, in fact, it seems “competition” in the letterpress field is set aside in favor of education and ensuring people have opportunities to learn. How cool is that?
I’ve always liked to talk. Anyone who knows me can attest to this fact, but as I’ve learned letterpress, I have this deep urge to sit and talk for hours when I find fellow letterpress people. This past April, on my trip to pick up our Vandercook SP-15, I spent nearly a full day in John Barrett’s shop in Chicopee, MA — Letterpress Things — mostly just walking around and talking to John in his spare moments. I dawdled and took photos and just looked at all the “things”. I was there when he opened and left at closing time. I wanted to hear stories, gain unique insights, and just talk shop.
Since then, the idea has grown and taken new life. As we built up our in-house print shop and filled it with supplies and our presses, I began to realize there was still SO MUCH I needed to learn. So, why not ask the people who are really good at it? That’s where I am today… the podcast is a bit about talking shop and a bit about learning. I want to hear some of those epic stories that come out in passing but also learn some practical tips along the way.
Another primary motivator is the preservation of knowledge. Since letterpress printing is such an old trade, preserving decades or centuries-old lessons from some of the veterans is important. Given that podcasts are a “new age” way of spreading and disseminating information, why not use it to our advantage and talk about letterpress ALL THE TIME?
The podcast will continue on, every other week. We’ll have new and exciting guests from all walks of the letterpress life. My hope is that we’ll get tons of perspectives on the industry and hear some awesome stories along the way.
In the background, my wife and I are working on launching our own small letterpress business. As we learn, experience, and experiment, we’ll document additional things here on the blog as well. My aim is to share as much of that process as possible.
Curious about something? Want to have a question answered? Just let me know — contact me through the website (the envelope to the right) or sign up for the email list and get in touch with me there.
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