Thursday, March 20, 2008

Just getting Started

Welcome to my WebLog.

There are two things i love in life. One is Music. The other is Art. Both passions have one thing in common: they are tactile. That is, to make either one possible - music or "art" - one must involve the sense of touch. To create a song, one must create and ultimately play a melody, in my case on my trusty Yairi or Martin D-15. To create lyrics, one must ultimately write, in my case with my trusty 1926 Corona typewriter or my thoroughly outdated PC.

Visual "art" in my case is typography, specifically Letterpress, which also involves the sense of touch - not only in the productions thereof, but in the products themselves. The debossing of an image or text into paper via the raised surface of a typographic plate, be it a woodcut, linocut, metal type, copper plate, etc., creates a visual and tactile experience which was once commonplace in the graphics world, but much after World War 2 has all but vanished from commercial work, retreating into small studios, high-school shop classes, and basements of die-hard craftsmen and women determined to keep the art alive . . . as long as possible.

I was first exposed to the former - music and guitar - at the ripe age of eleven - in Munich, Germany, 1966. The latter in High School Shop, Conestoga High School, Berwyn PA , 1970. I fell in love with both immediately upon contact. Love at first sight, i guess. Both have been a slow growth process. Very slow, but very sure.

More than likely, my log entries will involve one of the two above mentioned arts. Music and Letterpress. Right now i am in the midst of bringing to life two presses which will form the nucleus of my Studio (or Shop), a smaller Showcard Press, which will be my Proof Press, and my latest aquisition, a Chandler and Price "New Series" Gordon style letterpress, c. 1913. The challenge now is to harness the wiring from the 1 hp drive motor and footswitch wiring in a safe manner.

Along with this dwells a challenge i took on some years ago, to cut a demo CD of my music, mostly acoustic guitar. Very simple stuff, but hard to focus on when you work a 12-hour a day job to put food on the table.

Slow but sure.

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