Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Day One: The Printing Farm

It's good to be back home again after a refreshing week-long visit to attend the Codex International Book Fair and Conference in the Bay Area, and I'm happy to share some of my adventures over the course of this coming week. There was far more to do than I could accommodate, but the week's itinerary met all my expectations and more. And it was a much needed break of sunshine and fun after a very dreary start of my New Year.
     My wonderful traveling companions from Seattle were Bonnie Thompson Norman, famed bookbinder, teacher and letterpress printer; and Jenny Wilkson, printer, teacher and newly appointed editor of the one-and-only letterpress wiki, the Letterpress Commons. The weekend began with a nice stay at good friends Patrick & Maxine Reagh's beautiful home and letterpress farm in Sebastopol, CA. Their well-appointed entryway includes a typo-magnetic wall of surplus wood type from Patrick's large collection acquired many years ago from a former typehouse in Los Angeles.   

Jenny Wilkson working the magnetic type board.
The Grill Room by Eric Ravilious from a series of 24 prints he made for the book, High Street. This was a gift to Patrick from his dear friend Vance Gerry of Los Angeles.
A kiln-fired public notice embedded in Pat & Max's new shower stall, directed to all the unwashed masses who huddle there. Read the full post on their Ravages of Slime parody here. It is a total hoot! 
When asked why the enormously large wood type letters were hung at the front door of the red barn which is Patrick's letterpress shop, Patrick wryly added that "they are for dyslexic, near-sighted, colorblind printers", and posted in plain view in order to keep the California OSHA authorities happy.

A print-out of the beautiful fraktur font Uhlen Rundgotisch, designed by Berthold Wolpe. Pat has the matrices to this and a number of other unusual fonts, and intends to soon cast them on his monotype and have available for purchase.  

Patrick explaining the intricacies of type matrices to anyone who will listen.

P@'s @ symbols for sale in all sizes. 

Patrick, man of steel, and also known as the inventor of the PatMag™, displays a magnetic base for polymer plates. He's shown here lifting the monster PatMag™ base and chase for his big Heidlberg press.  

Patrick Reagh on keyboards.

A circus tiger once belonging to Patrick's father William Reagh when he was a child. Tomorrow in this space: off to the Book Fair and Codex Conference... 

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