This is going to be a crazy month
During the Ladies of Letterpress conference almost all of the printers we know (and met) told us we're crazy for printing everything on our trusty Vandercook presses. In fact, we have friends who have been telling us this for years. Although the Vandy's print amazingly, they are much slower than more automated presses and are much more physically demanding. We can't produce huge editions since we have to hand crank every sheet of paper through, for every color of ink. Honestly, we've been at a tipping point for a while and we really need to be able to print more to keep up with jobs and to stock up on inventory more efficiently. So, we caved and decided to start looking for a Heidelberg Windmill.
The day after we got back from the conference I went to our local paper shop and saw a handwritten sign in the window for a Windmill. Really! I called in the parking lot. We looked at the press the next day and put down a deposit. It was in perfect condition, oiled every day and was only 30 minutes from our studio. And the seller could deliver! What can I say, we have good press karma.
So, that brings me to the studio. We have a gorgeous space on the fourth floor of an old shoe factory. It's big and sunny, but it's on the fourth floor and we have to run the presses with other artists working below us. I always feel bad about the clanking of the press while we print, so we often print at night. This just wasn't going to work for the new press, so we had to figure out what to do. Do we only ever print at night? Do we move into a new building? Well, as luck would have it, I returned from visiting the Windmill to a voicemail from Eric on the first floor of our building asking if we would be interested in splitting his space. He's a digital printer and bookmaker (perfect for us to share a space with) and there was a possibility for retail in the new space! Seriously, this all took place in the span of three days. So we talked to our current studio mates and decided to move into the new space as a group!
ps - My family is from Heidelberg, Germany. When I told my mom about the press she told me I had to get it! And it's beautiful.