Some of you may recall the installment on this blog, where I hosted a one-on-one workshop with Isabel, chief cook and bottle washer for 9th Letter Press, who recently held an open house on their premises in Winter Park, Florida. Isabel is a talented artist / artisan, designing her own stationery, printing commissioned items as well, such as wedding announcements and other ephemera. Her location is just three blocks shy of Fairbanks, on Orange Avenue. In fact, not far from the birthplace of both Rifle Paper Co. and Mama's Sauce. Right where I lived as a high-schooler, and on the same road where I found my first job in the Printing Biz, Robinson Press, forty years ago.
There were many in attendance, and among the fellowship of local print artisans were educators, calligraphers, Anna & Nate from Rifle, Sarah from Bella Figura, her mom, who is a fellow calligrapher. In fact, I spent almost half my time talking to Sarah's parents. Also there were Isabel and Sheli's family.
Cecilia, Isabel's mother, is responsible for the awesome hors d'oevres, show in these photos. I spent a considerable time in conversation with Isabel's parents (as her former instructor, I had to give them their kid's report card, y'know!)
Cecilia, if you're reading this: next time you come a'baking, and I find out about it, I'm there!! You can cater my open house any day of the week! See these pumpkin cupcakes? Tooo dye for!
This 110 year old Iron Horse is "St. Peter", guardian of the Shop. He is an 1890s vintage Chandler & Price "Old Series" 10x15 platen "job" press, which does literally all of Isabel's impressions. We worked on her from out of Isabel's garage for a time, bringing her into serviceable condition. That was a story in and of itself! St Peter is powered by a 1/2 horse Marathon Farm Motor (just like my New Series 10x15, soon to become property of yet another Letterpress Studio in Land o' Lakes, Melissa, of Creative Brainbuzz/)
I must say, there had to be at least 250 people both inside the studio, and overflowing out into the parking area where tables were set up. My goal last night was to master the art of 'strategic standing', so as not to get in anybody's way.
Ah, yes. Let's see: White and Red Zinfandel (?), South Hampton Pumpkin Ale - that was surprisingly good, plus another brew on pump, seemed to be an IPA of some type. The center dispenser has Harry Potter's Pumpking Juice. Beverage to Spike the Nite for our Delight! - with due paraphrase apologies to J.R.R. Tolkien
Several trips to and fro the snacks, the beverages, the conversation, meeting faces again, and for the first time, hugging necks, meeting spouses, it was a great event. I was glad our local resident hurricane Sandy decided to blow out, and drop down excellent weather for the evening.
I think I was the only one that came in blue jeans and flannel shirt. I'm a little too laid back to get into the suit and tie gig, although my sweet wife informs, that I had better start imbibing said 'gig'. I might be putting one of these things on myself soon. Yeah. I'll have Avett Brothers do the music, too!
Do some of the imagery seem blurred and out of focus? Yes, there was quite a bit of activity, even out in the parking lot. Folks just seemed to keep coming in! Pretty good, considering about half of the mailed invites got lost in the mail, never delivered!! We think it may have been due to the gold metallic finish on the mailing envelopes that could have confused the mail scanners. Something to think about when choosing an envelope finish, btw!
Our parting shot for the evening will be of this amazing little mobile caterer, the name of whom I absolutely forgot! When I find out, I'll post their names. They make Crepes! Any kind, you name it, and right from the truck. Super friendly folks, average cost was about six bucks. For a nice filled crepe, you can't touch that at a Creperie, believe me!
We here at G. Johanson, Letterpress - meaning me, my wife, and designer daughter Anna Coleman (who works at Rifle Paper Co. btw!) wishes every good blessing and all that Providence will provide, for Isabel, Sheli and Staff at 9th Letter Press. I am proud to count you among my friends, fellow artisans, and co-conspirators in the Black Arts!
May ascribing a proper description of our Creator in everything we design and print be our goal and purpose, a tradition and purpose handed down from Herr Gutenberg himself. Sola Deo Gloria!