Reflections from Lindsay Zier-Vogel on her residency in Nebraska.
I spent the last month at a writing (and letterpress!) residency at Art Farm in Nebraska – it was brilliantly inspiring. I created a writing studio in the back of what will one day be a fully functional print shop. The space houses towers of salvaged paper, 240 fonts and a bunch of printing presses. This is where I set to work learning how to use the letterpress.
I printed two books while I was down there – each page was hand-set and hand-cranked, and of course, hand-bound.
Using the press required me to slow down my process. No more crank it out in an evening books. Instead, I’d spend days setting the type, prepping the paper, and getting the ink exactly right.
18-point font seems huge in the land of computers, but I tell you, those commas were the teeniest little things. As soon as I got to the press and rolled the heavy handle, though, I’d forget about all the curse words and foot stomping and fumbling fingers of typesetting and be delighted and amazed at each printed page.
I printed my first book, love. on salvaged paper, with maps of Nebraska for the end papers and cover detail, with my favourite Nepalese paper from The Paper Place for the cover. The paper’s fabric-y enough to hold sewing machine stitches easily.
For A Miracle Somehow, I used a variety of papers including found gridded paper, and the most glorious ivory cotton St. Armand papers that I brought down with me (also from The Paper Place.) The text was so clear and rich and printed so beautifully, it’s all I ever want to print on from here on in.
I’m now home and can’t wait to start playing around with more Letterpress in Toronto.