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For my residency, I'd like to propose the restoration of an early 20th century platen letterpress. Some of the best of these presses were made starting in the 1880s up until the 1960s. Most of these presses weigh up to three quarters of a ton and are made of cast iron.
Before the recent renewal of interest in letterpress, some of these presses were being scrapped for parts and have been sitting in garages and warehouses collecting rust. In this era of becoming more green and sustainable, it is essential to recognize and restore our history as well as to connect it to modern times. I am hoping to create an awareness of the evolution of the printing process from these machines to current technology and the necessity of both methods.
My goal would be to rescue one of these presses and restore it to working order. I am a master printer and have been working in shops and on presses for twelve years. Part my residency would include a video blog of the process as well as workshops. I would like to offer the public the chance to view the day to day process in person as well.
As my final project for this residency, I'd like to create a series of notebooks and cards to commemorate the restoration of the press. They will be printed and bound by hand on site.
For reference, I am supplying photos of presses similar to what I would be working on. Additionally, you can see a tabletop platen press that I recently acquired and restored.