You guys. I am so full of gratitude for the community at the Ashantilly Center. The reception was wonderful; many people showed up and they were excited to see what was happening at the Ashantilly Press. Harriet and Sara and the board put together a beautiful reception, and Nicholas and I helped visitors print on both the C&P and the little Vandercook proof press.
Thanks, thanks, thanks! I’m missing Ashantilly already!
(All of these photos were taken by Harriet Langford. I was too busy explaining typesetting and making prints, and encouraging people to use the corner rounder.)
I’m already about halfway through my time here at Ashantilly, whooaa. I feel like I can’t set type or print fast enough. So much to explore and print!
Top to bottom:
More cards, ready to be folded. Look at those sweet birds.
Today I tackled setting the Bembo (but, alas, didn’t get to the italic).
I found the sweetest box of linocuts, possibly by Anne Lee? We’re not sure how old they are (maybe sixties or seventies?), or what they were used for.
This tympan has lived a life. We have exactly three registration pins in the shop right now, that I can find(!).
And, we had a big ol’ rainstorm today.
Today I set a lot of type for the type specimen book. At first I was thinking “rrgg!” every time I had to set a line of 6 point type, but by the end of the day it was ok; maybe my clumsy fingers just needed to warm up. I am looking forward to printing this tiny type; when printed well it is so crisp! I’m finding a lot of joy in this process: exploring all of the typefaces, putting dotted lines between them, and encountering challenges (can you spy the monogram typeface? No numbers there! I think I handled this gracefully, though).
In the last couple of days, Nicholas and I started printing a whole lot of cards. I haven’t printed an edition over a hundred in a while (you are the best you!), so this was good fun. I printed some on the Vandercook (look! Nicholas took a nice photo) and the rest on the 8×12. Platen presses are so speedy. This week I’ll print the back of the cards and fold them, and then they’ll be ready to be sold to raise funds for Ashantilly.
Greetings from The Ashantilly Press!
Tops to bottom:
A sweet box of Mr. Haynes’ etching supplies (including the oldest crunchiest ink from England)
Type stored in coffee bags
Of course it is some kind of law that when you drop spacing on the floor, it falls into the pile of swept up dirt
A big mama type setup!
The biggest box of big spacing
I learned what a skink is, today.
Today was wonderfully productive. I’m covered in dirt, and there are only four more unidentified typefaces (in this first batch of proofs, at least). Hooray!
Whoops, I realize I was a little vague in my last post. I just wanted to post the critter skeleton I found in the type case!
Anyway, to paint a fuller picture for you, I am spending three weeks at The Ashantilly Press in Darien, Georgia as a visiting artist. My goal for my time here is to make a comprehensive type specimen book and to help get the shop into general working order, and to make a poster for an upcoming sale for the Ashantilly Center.
I have finished labeling and making a spreadsheet of all the type cases, but many typefaces are (as-of-yet) unidentified. We are fortunate because Mr. Haynes was very meticulous, and many of the original labels are in the cases so for the most part our job is straightforward. There still is a good amount of mystery type, so today I started proving it to make identification easier. Neither Nicholas or I has any formal education in typography, so were going through a bit of a crash course. I am learning so many new things.
I am feeling so thankful to have this time to play with type (and hopefully to be a helping, orderly force!). And, I can’t thank Harriet and Sara and Nicholas enough. Ashantilly really is a special place; I’ve seen so much community spirit and generosity and hard work already, and I’ve only been here since Sunday.
Oh my goodness.
And, these photos! I have never seen this kind of spring-loaded furniture, if you can even call it furniture, to use in lieu of a quoin or magnets on a proving press. Letterpress friends, any knowledge to share?
I’m going through the cases at the Ashantilly Press to make a type specimen book, and I found a critter. I’m having a wonderful time with Nicholas and Harriet and Sara and seventeen cabinets of type. More photos soon! Not just of critter skeletons.