As you might have expected, I’m now on the hunt for letterpress gear. Ideally I’d find myself a nice little table-top platen press, although I’d not turn down an offer of a Vandercook proof press (although I’d have to rearrange the furniture to accommodate it).
I thought I might have a line on some gear this morning when I came across Shawn MacKenzie’s classified ad on Briar Press – Shawn runs Kwik Kopy, which is a block away from the office here, so this seemed fated and magical – but, alas, their gear, from the Island Offset shop they acquired last year, is one generation too late: they have lots of Ludlow mats (sort of like metal type, but a negative rather than a positive, and used as a mold for hot metal) and a couple of larger Heidelberg Windmill presses that are more serious than I’m looking to get into.
I didn’t come away empty-handed, though. Although the letterpress era had been largely purged from Island Offset, there were some ornaments set on top of a type case, and Shawn kindly sent me on my way with them:
And so begins my letterpress collection. If you know of any basements of attics with old letterpress gear stowed away, please drop me a line.