Hi All, well it’s that time again!
I’ll be going in for arm surgery this coming Tuesday and although we won’t know how well it goes until I wake up, I’m confident in my doctor and we’re all hoping for the best.
Even though I may be out for a while things are moving ahead here in the shop. My visionary collaborator Valentine Viannay and I are are gearing up for a big sale of new products at the beginning of December on Fab.com and we’re working hard here in the shop. If you can’t wait to see soem of the new stuff make sure to check out my Etsy store, just search Qletterpress.
I’ll also be featured in a new video blog project done here locally by Shaun Boyte at Boyte Creative.
He’s doing features on creative people here in town and was kind enough to include me. We’re really excited about it. I’ll make sure to get the link up on the site as soon as I can.
I know everyone is excited about more classes as well. Hopefully my arm will be in good enough shape to get a few scheduled while I’m on the mend.
Well that’s it for now. I’ll do my best to give an update and get back to blogging as soon as I can.
I had the pleasure of having the typography students from the Art Institute come in for a shop visit last week. The kids were great and paid attention the whole time ( I can ramble when it comes to my machines!) I’d like to thank both Carly Catarcio and teacher Richard Ybarra for letting the kids come in and seeing how to do it old school!
Yes, it’s Sunday and I’m in the shop again, no rest for the wicked!
The move went well, no one hurt and no machines broken, to say that moving 30,000lbs of equipment was tough is an understatement! So many helped and my clients were very understanding, I feel fortunate to work with such cool people. I’ll make it quick but I feel the need to put some of them in print:
Bill @ Machinery Movers of San Diego, George my electrician, Marc Hedges from Encompus (I’ll get some sleep one of these days), Valentine Viannay (let me hang artwork so it looks good), Kurt Braun (thanks for not letting the 800lb typecase fall on me) Paul Kilburg (for helping move 100 drawers of type by hand 3 times), my dad Jim Butler (he’s actually reading the manual for the Intertype!), Marc Pastore (painting the floor would look cool) and to the countless others who lent moral support through not only the shop move, but everything else I have going on in my life these days.
Lots of cool stuff happening in the shop right now. I’ve started working with an apprentice Emily Yueng and she’s been great. Just a few days in and she’s on the C&P working on stuff. She’ll also be getting the Etsy store up and running with some exciting new products.
I’ve been teaming up with Valentine Viannay (silkscreen Goddess!) and we’re coming up with some great mixed media stuff that will blow your minds. New cards are in production and soon we’ll be working on mixed media silkscreen/letterpress on fabrics.
Well, it’s official! We’ve closed the doors on the old shop and are fully moved in to the new shop. The presses are up and running and it’s back to business as usual! Thanks to the many friends and family members who helped move, clean, organize, and move some more!
The new space is much larger than the old one. It’s got a sweet roll up garage door that lets a good cool breeze run through the shop. It’s got nice high warehouse ceilings and a cozy office, not that I spend time there because I’m always on the press! We’ve got a few finishing touches left to do to customize the place such as, building a loft space and hanging all the artwork, but we are well on our way.
Classes are back in session as well, so check out the LEARN page for class dates and how to make reservations. Hope to see you there!
We started moving presses to our new location today! Here are a few pics of day #1.
Very exciting to get things started but still a lot to do over the next few weeks.
Many thanks to Bill from Machinery Movers of San Diego, he’s the only guy I’ll let lift my presses.
Also a BIG thanks to my buddy Kurt Braun. There are lots of friends that will help you move a sofa or a fridge, but when you’re moving close to 18,000lbs of vintage machinery you need a back up guy you can count on to know what he’s doing and have your back…that’s Kurt.
To Marc Pastore, one of the first guys I ever worked a Kluge with over 30+ years ago, who convinced me to go a head and paint the floor ( I admit it does look good!) And of course my dad Jim Butler who saved the day today by running out and getting me a new 100 amp 3 phase breaker for my electrician tomorrow. Plus my bro’s Pablo and Andrew P who helped me move over 100 drawers of lead type and stay sane with all the painting I’ve been doing to get things ready for the machines.
There will be many more thanks you’s and pics coming but I’m tired, a little sore, and I need to meet my electrician in the morning for a long day of pulling wire.
Intertype lead typesetting machine with 50 magazines of typefaces.
12″x18″ Inking Kluge
14″x20″ Meihle V50
8″x12″ Old Style C&P
Hammond Glider lead saw
8′ printers stone holding 80 drawers of type
25 drawer Hamilton type cab
Vintage oak typecase with 40 drawers
2 – 100 space galley cabinets
The rumors are true, I am currently under way to move Quality Letterpress to a new, larger location.
This first pic is of my awesome niece Clara painting and my dad Jim getting things prepped.
We’ll still be in the same area, right off Mission Gorge Rd and Highway 8 in Mission Valley, and not only will it be a larger space, but we’ll even be adding a few new machines. New on the floor will be another 12″x18″ Kluge ink press for larger format posters and imprinting/die cutting. The big news is that we’ll also be adding a C4 Intertype lead typesetting machine with over 50 different type fonts to choose from.
That means if you want to add a paragraph of text to a poster, or if you’d like to do a poetry book or simply add a line of text, we won’t need to make a special plate we just set it in lead type…old school baby!
Lots to do still, more paint going up today (actually down, I’m painting the concrete floor!) and then I’ll get George my master electrician in and start moving machines and type cases plus everything else. I’m estimating close to 30,000 pounds of equipment and supplies!
Another bonus of moving to the larger space will be the opportunity to set up an area just for classes that will include my 2 tabletop presses, the old style C&P, as well as having my type and image collection close at hand.
I’d like to thank a few people that have been instrumental in helping my design the look and layout of the shop in these initial stages. Marc Hedges of Encompus, Valentine Viannay silkscreen goddess, my dad Jim Butler and my entire family and my entire group of friends.
Keep checking back for new pics and updates.
There have been lots of changes for me these days and I am really looking forward to moving on and moving up!
Due to popular demand I’ve scheduled more classes. Sorry it’s taken so long but things have been really busy and I had a few road trips in March. I’m going to try and keep them going more consistently for everyone in the future.
I have a road trip in May (going to Alabama to play with the Beach Boys!) and another week out in June, but I’m going to try and update this page and keep the classes going.
So pop me an email and sign up now!
With the resurgence of interest in letterpress a lot of people are looking to buy small, tabletop presses to use for personal projects. I think it’s great that designers are getting their hands dirty and learning how fun and inspiring a small press can be.
But you need to know what you’re buying and who you’re buying it from!
I’ve recently had 2 different clients come to me with presses that they purchased that were not in working order. While I don’t like to slag anybody, I cannot in good conscience let it slide. There is a guy on the East Coast with a company called Excelsior Press. I would highly suggest that if you’re looking to buy a press that you may want to find someone else to work with.
The high amount of interest has driven the cost of the presses quite high and it pains me to think of ‘newbies’ been taken advantage of. Do your research, take a class, talk to someone who owns a press.
Here is a great resource for those of you interested in getting started. keep in mind that some of the users on the site are at the same level as you and some are ‘old timers’ like myself. People are willing to help you out. I know you may want to jump in with both feet but take your time…a press is an investment!
After a very busy month of keeping the presses rolling, heading out on the road with Sha Na Na and keeping the dogs happy, I was really excited to participate in this years Y Conference for the San Diego Chapter of the AIGA.
It was a packed house at my ‘Thinkshop” and the group was really great. We covered a little bit of everything, paper selection, when to use foil and general information on how cool letterpress can be. Being able to give designers a little demo and giving them the pressmans perspective was pretty cool and hopefully they left with a new understanding of all things letterpress.
I’d like to give special thanks to Justin Skeesuck from seenandnoted.com for turning me on to the event. He was the reason I was there.
Also a shout out to Mark Robillard from the San Diego Chapter of the AIGA. After telling me I could get there at 7:30 am and I showed up at 9:15 to start my presentation at 10 (hey , I’m a musician, we don’t really do ‘mornings’ ha ha) he had a killer parking space for me and really kept things running smooth.
And last but not least, Marc Hedges from encompus.com. He got up early (easier when you have a beautiful little girl!) helped me move the press and tools for the demo, and helped keep me from rambling too much. I can get a little passionate about letterpress.
Thanks again to all and keep checking the site for updates, there is some really cool stuff in the works.
I can’t go into much yet, but believe me, you are going to flip when you see what we’re working on!
Back to the presses….
Things have been crazy busy here in the shop so it’s been tough to get another post up, but I have squeezed out a few minutes for a quick update!
Yes, it’s true…I did just finish hand feeding 10,000 books on the old C&P! Got up to 1000 an hour and my arms felt like I swam the English Channel, but you got to get it done! I actually started out using the foot treadle but after about 700 forms it felt like I had run 100 miles up hill…so I put on the ol’ thinking cap and took a motor, belt and speed drive of my old Kluge and re-wired it onto the C&P and put it under power to get ‘er done!
I know a lot of you are lining up for classes and I promise to get some going soon. But as most of you know that I run the shop by myself so when the work hits hard I get quite busy and it’s tough to schedule classes.
But I will have a new class schedule up soon!!!
Some cool things on the horizon as well…
I’ll be participating in this years Y Conference. I’ll be doing a ‘Thinkshop’ on all things letterpress, print, foil, embossing. How to design for the medium and sharing stories of the craft, I’ll even be bringing in a small tabletop press so everyone can get a feel for it.
Some really cool product coming soon as well.
Things have been moving out of the store pretty well….shipping to Ireland, Australia and all points in between!
On another note….
Some of you may know this and some of you may not be aware but I am also a musician.
I’ve been playing for as long as I’ve been printing and have had quite a bit if success doing it as well.
I’ve toured the States as well as Europe as a support act for the ‘Stray Cats’ farewell tour of Europe in ’08 and also play locally with my band ‘The Rockin’ Aces every Thursday night at Tio Leo’s in Bay Park (8pm no cover!)…you never know who will show up to sit in so it’s always a blast.
I’m also a member of Sha Na Na…yes the Sha Na Na of Woodstock (the original) and also the movie Grease as well as a long running T.V. show in the 70′s.
Here is a pic of me and Marvin Hamlisch. Over New Years Eve Sha Na Na did 3 shows with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and he was the conductor. He’s a great guy, super funny and easy going…kind of surreal as I was onstage playing ‘La Bamba’ with him standing next to me hitting a cowbell!
So there you go…a quick update
I’ll keep you posted….