Hatching and Protecting Creativity

Ran across the following article/interview with Ed Catmull (President of Pixar) in Fast Company magazine. The article is a reprint from his book ‘Creativity, Inc.’. I enjoyed it immensively and found it to be the best treatment I’ve ever encountered on the tension between encouraging and protecting creativity (by actors within an organization appropriately termed ‘creatives’) and living within the constraints of the other normal/necessary managerial dynamics that operate within an organization.  Click on ‘Creativity’

Love Is In The Air

wedding day - ringsIt’s spring and as young love’s thoughts turn to marriage and the associated wedding event (did I really just type that?!) and inevitably they come to the realization that some sort of invitation might be required. I won’t attempt to make a case in this post for letterpress invitations (it’s kind of obvious anyway) but I want to draw your attention to the Wedding Set Price Sheet that I placed on our ‘Press Room’ page earlier this week.

And if you’re design-inclined and feel capable of producing your own designs – I’ve added Letterpress File Prep Guidelines sheet as well.

Please share these (or this post) with anyone you know who has entered the ‘marriage pipeline’.

And while we’re on the subject of marriage – The Meaning of Marriage (Timothy Keller) is an outstanding and insightful treatment of the subject.

Fresh Meat

Wow, been awhile – I know. I love new posts as much as the next person but man, getting to it can be a lot of work. The ‘new post’ is like fresh meat to the wild cat that’s in all of us blog readers.tiger Lately, I’ve been searching for an improved ‘gallery’ tool within WP (WordPress).  Am looking currently for a better display method (plugin) for my gallery of printed sample photos.  Friend Ryan Sorgnard has pointed me at a nice review of ‘repsonsive image galleries‘ – you see it’s good to have an informed understanding of even the proper name of something when you’re trying to accomplish an intelligent (or semi-intelligent in this case) search for something. So, watch for an improved gallery of photos (and by the way – those awesome photos don’t happen by themselves and it’s not me shooting them with my iPhone, good as that device is – they are the handi-work of Tad Craig, photographer).

Vacation Post

Taking MacBook Pro to the beach (Friday) and will do some Illustrator design work for variety of little ‘projects’. But no press work next week – the letterpress is ‘closed’ for week :-).  Kathy and I have a very structured schedule in mind … working on the deck (in back) framing and installing 5/4″ x 4″ cedar deck boards – till about 1pm each day – then on bikes to the beach each day with books + beverages + nosh. I’m all for that schedule!

This weekend the Hudson Bay Eagles will flock at the beach for an assortment of fun and catching up (coming from as far as Maine – Pete/Jackie).

The beach deck project, at the moment, looks like this …will complete the rest of the framing and then install the deck boards (with Kathy’s expert assistance). Then there’s re-shingling of the walls, painting, horizontal 1×4 cedar on the property line fence. Then margaritas on the deck.

Press Arrives Its Destination Safely (re-post)

(I’ll be re-posting several of my old ‘blogspot/ entries … as it is content I don’t want to lose.)
When it comes to moving things – my friend Jerry is the best choice. He’s a good thinker, good risk assessor, still has most of his limbs and most importantly  – he usually says yes when I ask for help.

We started Saturday morning with pancakes at my house, then drove our Ryder truck with the 2,000 lb lift gate over to LarkPress to pick up ‘Red’. I won’t go into the all the details of trying to get a 1,050 lb object onto the lift gate (which had, in my judgement, a bit too steep a transition incline). Suffice it to say – there were some challenges and we would probably still be there ‘shuving’ without the welcome assistance of a commercial painter (read ‘angel’) who was working on the building next door.

Our litte red press is a Chandler & Price 8 x 12 – also affectionately known in the trade as a C&P 8 x 12.  One of the bonuses of a new craft (not sure where craft leaves off and technology begins) is that you get to acquire a whole new vocabulary. While I’m working on repairing or replacing the 1/4 hp variable speed motor, I also need to order some trucks (that go on either side of the inking rollers), some tympan parchment, a handful of guage pins, two qouins and qouin key to secure the bed to the chase. And like that.

Chandler & Price 8 x 12 (safely in its new home)

A Marriage Made in Heaven

When you think of the rich and splendid variety of good marriages you’ve witnessed, it’s most often the case that ‘differences’ turn out to be a very durable bond. In support of this, I submit the following:

a marriage made in heaven

a marriage made in heaven

… and happy anniversary (day late) to you Felix & Beth!

How We Learn

Fortunately there are a lot of ways to learn something; which is good, because this way – nobody is left out. There’s a ‘way’ for almost every style. In my case, I learn a great deal by reading and talking to people. I remember once (college days), when I wanted to learn to rappel (or abseil) and didn’t have the
time or means to take a proper course of instruction – so, by reading a French mountaineering guide (Gaston Rebuffat) I taught myself to rappel down from a strong set of rafters about 75 feet above the ground in a lumber warehouse. Perhaps not the best approach, but I did it carefully and it worked – I learned. When I bought my press from Jean at Lark Press, and she offered to loan me a book about letterpress – I of course jumped at the offer and read it cover to cover twice. And in so doing, learned the essentials about how to operate and maintain a letterpress. Conversations with experienced printers and suppliers filled out my understanding of how to get started.  

Toad’s Wild Ride

I’ve commented on this notion in previous incarnations of this blog, but the thought returns again and again – and like Toad, our effervescent hero from Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows – I feel lucky to have been carried away by this simply wonderful hobby/diversion called letterpress printing.  The author says it this way:
 “As if in a dream Toad found himself, somehow, seated in the driver’s seat; as if in a dream, he pulled the lever and swung the car round the yard and out through the archway; and, as if in a dream, all sense of right and wrong, all fear of obvious consequences, seemed temporarily suspended. He increased his pace, and as the car devoured the street and leapt forth on the high road through the open country, he was only conscious that he was Toad once more, Toad at his best and highest, Toad the terror, the traffic-queller, the Lord of the lone trail, before whom all must give way or be smitten into nothingness and everlasting night. He chanted as he flew, and the car responded with sonorous drone; the miles were eaten up under him as he sped he knew not wither, fulfilling his instincts, living his hour, reckless of what might come to him.”

That’s me and my letterpress. I can’t say it better. And if you haven’t read this delightful little jewel – you have not yet lived ‘the complete life’. Seek it out (alibris.com)

Little Red Book

This little journal holds a record of each job that goes on the press. To date (which kind of stuns me actually) there are 68 jobs recorded in this book. Each entry includes: job name, ink, quantity, run date.

I also record how long both the make-ready and run-time took for each job. This gives me good information from which to better estimate future jobs.

Inside Pages (Red Book)


“It’s Alive”

This is really just my ‘hello world’ post. Took removal of an offending index.html page to allow the WordPress machinery to properly serve up the opening page …we’re there now though.