The Ink Dial - a Kickstarter for printers & printmakers

The Ink Dial - a Kickstarter for printers & printmakers

Dear Briar Press friends,

I would appreciate you taking a moment and giving my letterpress-related Kickstarter a look-see. You can find it online at:

( will redirect there as well.)

I think the rewards are particularly interesting but what do letterpress printers need with letterpress printing? Perhaps some of you might be or know of fans & collectors of the artists. Speak of whom, check out some of the amazing artists who’ll be making prints for kickback*:

1. Marian Bantjes

2. Alan Blackman

3. Andrew Byrom

4. Michael Clark

5. Michael Doret

6. Ed Fella

7. Eric Hanson

8. Carl Kurtz

9. Carl Rohrs

10. Yvette Rutledge

11. Paul Shaw http://www.paulshawletterdesigncom/

12. Susan Skarsgård

13. John Stevens

14. Sumner Stone

15. Jack Unruh

Their faith in my project is heartening.

If you can’t pledge, I would tremendously appreciate it if you could simply help get the word out. Every little bit of exposure by any ounce of effort will make a difference.

Thank you from the bottom of my ink encrusted heart.


image: the-ink-dial-kickstarter.jpg


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Wonderful video, Terry, and very generous rewards. Best of luck!


How does it work? Why should I throw out my scale?

Kind of scary considering you don’t ever see a photo or video of the thing. It’s just a barely described idea.

I’m interested in the idea, but with nothing tangible there’s just no way I could back it.

Is part of the fundraising to pay for getting the patent? Is that why there is nothing tangible about how it works?

Come to think of it, I don’t really know how much a patent typically costs. I’d think if you have a working model that it would make sense to use that to get the patent first and then use your fundraising to manufacture the idea on a large scale so that investors can have a better idea what they are supporting without you being afraid of your idea being lifted.

Either way, I have similar feelings as expressed in the previous comments…interest but skepticism in the absence of details.

Sometimes you have to consider the source. Here’s a brief bio of Mr. Chouinard extracted from a 2005 Wellesley web page:

Terrence Chouinard has worked at Pyramid Atlantic, the Corcoran College of Art & Design, and the Library of Congress. In June of 1999 he joined the Rare Book School staff as printer-in-residence and was awarded their first William Reese Fellowship in American Bibliography and the History of the Book in the Americas. In 2000, Chouinard received his MFA with dual emphases in printing and binding from the Book Arts Program at the University of Alabama. He founded his private imprint, the Wing & the Wheel Press, while an undergraduate at the Memphis College of Art in 1993. Items published by the Wing & the Wheel are represented in the collections at Wellesley College’s Margaret Clapp Library; the Copley Library; and the Library of the National Gallery of Art. Chouinard was appointed the second Victor Hammer Fellow in the Book Arts in 2000 at Wells College in New York, where in his first year he was instrumental in creating a minor in the Book Arts. A member of the Grolier Club and trustee of the American Printing History Association, Chouinard has been Director of the Wells Book Arts Center since 2002, where he dedicates himself to printing and administrating one of the nation’s premier undergraduate book arts program.

To get one of Terry’s prints for $35 — and one designed by an accomplished artist — is hardly a donation.


Thank you Barbara. I was thinking the same thing. If a person looks on the Kickstarter site, Terry’s bio is near the bottom. If one is familiar with Fine Printing, Illustration and Graphic Design, they should recognize many of the 35 names on the list. Almost any one of their posters is worth $35 including Terry’s.

Any improvement in ink measurement of small quantities is welcome. You can not imagine how much ink is wasted by students trying to mix PMS colors with ink knives and a scale.

I have a proper Ink scale


That is very considerate of you to address Terry’s credentials. I have know Terry for a good long while and he is a client of mine. I can vouch for his sincerity.

He discussed the Ink Dial concept with me early on and the idea of using Kickstarter. I did think the nebulous description of the device was a problem but I do understand the concern regarding patent and the costs involved.

I’d agree. $35 and you get a poster easily worth $35. What’s to lose?


Just another thought. This isn’t like someone asking for money to buy a tabletop press and start a letterpress business. This could potentially add to our repertoire of useful letterpress tools. That would be a beginning.


I think it’s just too vague. There have been countless new ideas and inventions on Kickstarter, and most of them don’t require $35,000 and fail to show the product. If I wanted a poster, I would buy a poster. What I MIGHT be interested in is a cool ink measuring system. But without seeing it firsthand it’s just blind faith in a complete stranger.

A better approach might to get the patent first and then Kickstart for production costs.
The patents I hold cost me about $2500.00 ten years ago
So it is a doable thing

I don’t have any reason to doubt the legitimacy of his invention- I just can’t envision how it works in the least. Do I need to to see some of the guts or key components? No…. But there is no ‘simple proof’, either.
I don’t know if it’s a mechanical or other type of invention, how the overall architecture even works; but that would be my main curiosity, and isn’t necessary for me to want to support an idea.

Terrance, would you enlighten us- is this a mechanical or a manual method of mixing? I don’t need to know the parts or measurements, I just want to know- personally- is this a mechanism, with some automation; or a ‘system’?

Wow, you step away from the conversation for a month and see what happens? ; )

No, really. Thanks guys. Even the skepticism, I appreciate it all.

Let me see if I can address some folks’ concerns. First, there are some hopefully not-too-nebulous answers to frequently asked questions on the Kickstarter page. In there you might read that the ID is a purely analog device. Very mechanically simple, yet not so simple that one could issue the specs via the Creative Commons policy and you all could run down to your local hardware for parts. It is only a “system” in the same sense a ratchet wrench is a “system.” You cannot use it successfully with just one socket head.

So, yes. I cannot give too much away. Walking a very fine line between pursuing public funding, which is the only avenue available to me honestly — Banks don’t like my poor credit history and I don’t know anyone with any serious money willing to float this — [walking a very fine line between pursuing public funding] and heeding my lawyer’s advice to keep it under the kimono.

I presume most folks use a color formula guide such as the Pantone matching system. I do … as a starting point that is. After all, I’m not printing via offset on the paper stock the guide is printed on. And as its been pointed out on Briar Press before, each ink manufacturer defines a “part” differently for each ink.

[I was lucky enough to have an email correspondence with someone lucky enough to have some proprietary information drop in his lap in this regard and it was shocking to find out that one part Van Son Pantone Yellow does not weigh the same as one part Van Son Pantone Process Blue. Guys, the ink companies are protecting themselves. They want you to come to them for your color mixes and put down some heavy coin for something that may ultimately need some adjustment on press for that color-specific job.]

On a larger canvas, this is part of my own color proofing strategy. And this and the previous point go to underscore my intention with running this campaign: this is meant to empower us little shops that might could save money if we didn’t have to order a whole pound of a color we’ll never use again, or save us time waiting for said custom mix, or those of us who’d prefer building our own personal color mixing reference library.

If you’re really fussy (and believe me, I LOVE fussy), you use a scale to measure your ink. It’s a no brainer, I did. And here’s the truly wonderful thing: the two are not mutually exclusive. While the ID does measure while it dispenses, it is fundamentally a dispenser if you forego the measurement indicator. So why bother with it then? Well, the ID has some nice fringe benefits.

Tell me, if you’re in a communal setting, do colors ever get ridiculously contaminated with other colors, dried ink bits or other debris? Yeah, problem solved. Troubled with keep those oil-based inks from skinning up top? Yep, got a fix for that too.

Want to know how the, what the, why? Well drop me a line privately ([email protected]) and I’ll give you my number and I’ll e happy to talk it all out. Maybe even send you a photo of the rough & ugly working prototypes. But be warned, no one ever calls so when I get to talking, I might not come up for air for a long, long while. Furthermore, the lawyer is going to make me bother you with a NDA, a non-disclosure agreement. Sorry but in order not to trip myself up I have to heed the advice of people much smarter than me looking out for my interests.

Now if you really want to SEE it, watch the video again. A part of the ID flashes on-screen in action just before the resulting ink drops to the mixing slab/glass. I know, probably not enough to merit confidence in a stranger who’s work you’ve never seen. But believe me, this thing ain’t rocket science. This whole thing developed over many years out of a need to avoid clients sticking me unpaid invoices when they said I printed PMS 501 when they specifically requested PMS 502. One guy I corresponded with nearly had the whole thing figured out before he veered off in some really “interesting” direction. That’s a story for another day.

I don’t blame anyone for being skeptical. I don’t have money to throw away and wouldn’t believe it myself. But I’m a trusting type of guy. I’ve supported a dozen Kickstarters and I think I’ve seen maybe ⅓ of the rewards I’ve been promised for my pledges. Frankly I couldn’t care less about the rewards. Point is, I find great pleasure in being part of something larger than myself and seeing these ventures succeed. But to folks unsure & reluctant to pledge … hey, I understand and I hold no grudges. I’d just like to see other folks reap some benefit from using this tool. I can’t guarantee you’ll love it, but geez, I hope I can stake claim to a bit of sincerity when I say flat out “I’m not aiming to swindle anyone.” The budget is such that in large part funds raised now will help subsidize the first batches so it isn’t unaffordable to printer’s much like myself. [Tell me if you’re like me: I couldn’t afford to hire someone to print letterpress for me. Isn’t that why I got a press? To do it myself?]

I saw the figure cited for a patent filed ten years ago. Yeah, I’ve talked to patent attorneys and that figure no longer applies. They don’t even start talking to you unless there’s a nice number in front of three zeros. Speaking of zero, that’s honestly how much money I have after these last couple years. I squeak by like all you guys I presume. So the working prototypes I have in the shop do the job but they are rough & ugly. I call them the Mark 1’s after Iron Man’s first crude suit of armor. Patent lawyer’s & the guy drawing up the plans don’t want to see those; they ain’t the final version. So there’s funds in there for me to go sit down with this great fabricator in town and build the damn thing the way I really see it all finished. But like I said, I got zero dollars, and in order to make anything happen I need some funds to lubricate the system.

And did I mention yet that if you pledge and are ever interested in purchasing the ID, that if you pledge during this campaign you will receive a discount commensurate with your pledge if you ever purchase an ID. So in a sense your pledge is repaid. I can’t state this explicitly on the Kickstarter page as they do not allow one to offer discounts as an incentive.

I’ve prattled on enough for one post I think. I hope I haven’t come off as snarky or ungrateful or rude. I truly do appreciate the attention and the lively discussion. I’m real proud to be part of a community disparate as we are that is keeping something worthwhile alive in the face of ever mounting mediocrity.

Although I’ve been at this for 20+ years now, I’ll be the first guy admit I’m not the final word on anything. If I haven’t addressed your concerns here, let me take a breather and pitch your query at me again. I’ll check back very soon.

And what happens in 6 days if the Kisckstarter doesn’t receive the funding? Do you then decide you need to show more of the product and try again, or does it die?

I am starting to wonder if this is like a refined concept of the Vandercook pressure ink well.

In some respects it would have been better to solicit privately for investors. The more people think about and play with the concept the better the chance that prior “art” is likely to be developed and the patent will be rejected or later challenged. I would have at least had a provisional patent application filed prior to going this public if the inventor truly believes this is novel and a market exists.

Also, the more I think about this the more I am skeptical that this could be something that you could patent. It seems unlikely that you could have claims that would be novel in terms of measurement, etc. If you look at commercial mixing plants, they have the same challenges just on a bigger scale. I am sure Sun or GFI has several patents along this line.

How much discovery has been performed to ensure the idea is in fact novel? Just because it is small format does not mean that the science or mechanics are not employed already in another device.

Hi all

Just quickly and I hope that doesn’t make this sound snarky. Am writing on the run and I suppose one could read these comments with a snide tone I do not intend:

Sun & GFI hold patents on digital systems for large-scale operations mainly, especially when it comes to delivery systems that replenish ink in fountains.

Filing a patent application still requires money. Money which I don’t have. Did I mention I have zero dollars? Zero is not a metaphor here either; it is a literal, fixed sum.

What conversations I’ve had with the patent attorneys and the research team (granted they’ve been gratis and they may just be after my business), they’ve advised that it does meet requirements and merits a patent filing. But you are correct, it can be rejected. Have you read much about the state of the US patent system lately? Talk about a nightmare. All I can do is try and if it isn’t patented well then I look forward to buying my foreign-made version produced from cheap materials right down the letterpress aisle at Walmart.

And by all means, do this yourself; all of you sound much smarter than me. (And I know how horrible that must sound, but I do mean it sincerely.) I’d rather be printing myself. I’ve been enjoying printing like we do for 20+ years. And while having problems with my ink drying, or cans in school shops getting contaminated, or measuring out little amounts of ink to mix custom colors repeatedly & accurately, well … that’s why I developed this. You can do it too. Like I say, I’d rather be printing. If you prefer to design your own tool and can afford to have your machinist make make those parts, then by all means, please do it. I’d be the first to support you if you ever chose to manufacture & market such a device. My idea developed as a solution to my needs and as my printing hasn’t changed, my needs haven’t changed either.

Yep, no funding means the idea won’t move forward and will stay in my shop. Mostly likely if I’m forced to liquidate the shop it’ll be scrapped alongside whatever I cannot sell. [You can look forward to future posts offering a few Vandercooks.]

I’m trying to share. If you’d rather I not take the risk of pledging a $1 or 35 or more, knowing that you’ll receive some form of reward (granted you may prefer your own printing — me, I like to collect the work of other artists & printers I respect. I don’t hang my own work in the house or shop. Who wants to look at that stuff? — that you’ll receive discounts commensurate with your pledges on future ID purchases, that you are helping to start something, then there’s no way I can make you. All I can do is ask. If there was another way to do this, trust me, I’d do it. This has been a thoroughly humiliating experience (asking for funding, not this BP discussion thread).

How can I promise this tool will work? Well, the Kickstarter page states my goal: “The goal of my Kickstarter campaign is to manufacture a dozen sets of Ink Dials and install them in a diversity of print shop environments so the system may be put through its paces, leading toward the Ink Dial’s commercial availability. This latest round of products will include many new features improving upon my rough working prototype system.”
Want to be a beta tester? You can offer your input, input which I don’t take lightly or for granted. I’m trying to get something good in people’s hands. That’s what I’m about; I try to put some good out in the world.

I’ve pledged a few hundred dollars, money I really should have spent elsewhere, on at least a dozen Kickstarters and Kiva projects, and I’ve gotten a book, a font and 2 DVDs in return. I don’t do it to get stuff, I do it to try to improve things. What did the poet Auden write? “We are all here on earth to help others; what on earth the others are here for I don’t know.” I appreciate healthy skepticism, but I can’t bear hopeless cynicism.

Sorry for the rant-like pace. Am late for a promised activity with the wife & kids. Please oh please don’t read this and think I’m an ass … although come to think of it, I probably am. If I sound rude it’s because I was trying to be too funny, too convincing — and perhaps too thoughtless — in too much a hurry.

Will check in later.

My point is that your dollars may be better spent on manufacturing, marketing and distribution. Time to market in the world today is often worth more than patent protection unless you are addressing a large market opportunity.

Patents are not all they are cracked up to be unless you truly have something novel and a substantial market exists. What do you believe the TAM is for your product?

Also, the USTPO has an extremely user friendly search function that allows a common person to search for prior art that exists in granted patents - dead and alive. This obviously does not cover art that might exist in the real world that was never presented in a patent claim, but is a good first start. I am assuming that this would be nothing other than sweat equity in your venture - in other words free if you consider your time worth nothing. This sort of due diligence would go a long way in my book.

Keep in mind that the claims could be applied to any sort of viscous compound - not just ink. If you have a good patent attorney they will make sure the claims in your application cover as broad a spectrum possible, so have others.

My point regarding Sun and GFI is just that solving a small problem vs a big problem is often addressed by the same method - just a different scale.

For example, if a large scale product uses a hydraulic piston that slides within a canister and you use a hand screw mechanism similar to the Vandercook pressure ink well did, each method is employing the same basic principles to dispense the ink.

From the USTPO:

“Even if the subject matter sought to be patented is not exactly shown by the prior art, and involves one or more differences over the most nearly similar thing already known, a patent may still be refused if the differences would be obvious. The subject matter sought to be patented must be sufficiently different from what has been used or described before that it may be said to be nonobvious to a person having ordinary skill in the area of technology related to the invention.”

This creates a bar that is not easy to achieve unless you are treading on virgin ground. The days of creating the safety pin and post-it-note and making millions are far less frequent than one imagines.

As I read your posts I hear a voice that wants to bring this valuable tool to the market for the community benefit. Perhaps you should re-examine your approach and skip the expensive and time consuming process that has no guarantees. $35K is not going to go very far in terms of the non-provisional patent process and prototypes. After you are done with that you are back to where you are today… convincing someone to fund your dream.

At that point you have a better story, but you have lost at least 12 months and gained protection in a market with what I suspect is a sub $1 million TAM. I can’t imaging you can retail this for big $’s and play in the markets that you suggest. At $100 dollars retail you would need to sell 10,000 to get $1 million in revenue. People on BP come up with wacky ways to do lockup to avoid buying $25 high speed quoins.

Not trying to rain on your parade. It seems that you have good intentions - but you want to make a buck along the way to the dance otherwise why do you need a patent? What I am suggesting is that you may want to perhaps forgo padding a patent attorney’s pockets and go sell something!

Candidly, I am speaking from experience as a semi-retired executive having been a co-founder in several venture capital backed entities. Most of which had intellectual property in some form or fashion as part of the game we played.

Money is hard to raise for new ventures…. use it wisely.

After speaking with Terry earlier today, and hearing him outline his ideas to me, I totally am behind this project and have chosen to support him in his endeavor. I hope more of you will do the same- contact him, hear what the man has to say, and participate if you find it worthwhile. He’s a complete stranger to me and yet I have faith in this idea and believe he will see it through.

Good luck Terry!

Thanks phasetwo. I am going to take everything you wrote into serious account.

Regarding “I can’t imaging you can retail this for big $’s and play in the markets that you suggest. At $100 dollars retail you would need to sell 10,000 to get $1 million in revenue.”

I reviewed my comments above and I’m wondering, what markets beyond small craft printers such as ourselves did you have in mind? And $1 million in revenue … that’s not the goal. The goal is to get this idea out there for others to use and feed my family. Honest.

Thanks for the input, everyone’s input in fact. I graciously relinquish the last word on this matter to you all. Most likely after the campaign fails at 1 am on Friday, I can stop worrying about this and we can all get back to printing. Or in my case, taking stock of the shop.

Hi Terry

I have wondered about the need for a patent as well. Will it really protect you? the folks who will copy what you are doing are the same folks who will not buy a Boxcar base but rather make their own far less precise imitation, who try to come up with a cheaper way of making less reliable film negatives rather than buy them, or make their own good enough polymer plates in the basement with blacklights and a brush, and a hair dryer. And you won’t be able to sue them—they copy because they don’t have any money, just a lot of time on their hands.

The major industry players are not going to be interested, at least I can’t image they would be or they’d be manufacturing bases similar to the Boxcar, which is unpatented, as is the Patmag. Think about your market. It’s not worth anyone’s trouble to manufacture it except for you.

Why throw money at something that won’t make you money. If the patent thing is holding you up, you may be misdirected. Maybe, walk away from the lawyers. ?

Patents and copyright and trademarks really don’t protect you if the money isn’t there.


In the end, whichever road he takes is fine, once he gets the money he might decide to use it for patent lawyers and fees, or for production only.

But he won’t get a dime, if the 35grand goal is not reached.

So while we can give our own opinion on what might be wise to spend the money on, it might also be wise to back the project and then convince him to produce them rather than patent them.

Just my humble opinion.


Thanks all. I have a few Boxcar Bases of different vintages (I admit, not the right word to use at all) and the early ones say patent pending, the later ones are simply trademarked. It’s true, I may be wasting time with the patent stuff and if that is the case then I’ll shift resources to manufacturing making sure this thing is affordable from the get-go.

Gerald, like you I’m not going to waste too much time & energy on those folks who’ll be damned if they can’t do it cheaper (and in their heads “better”) by doing it themselves. I’m certain anyone can make one if they are proficient machinists and have access to the equipment, which I don’t, but I’ve a bona fide fabricator in town — all these NASA guys don’t have much work these days with the shuttle mothballed. My Mark 1’s are rough & ugly, genuine Alabama good old boy weld jobs that prove the concept and work alright.

But it is the refinements that I want to make a reality, then put out there for a handful of sets to get out there and make the rounds, let you all put them through their paces and then send me feedback so I can improve it to the point it is really ready for mass consumption.

Those beta models will then be sent off to either worthy causes willing to take them or put in a raffle open & free to beta testers who pledged. I’ll keep one Mark 1 and scrap the rest.

Pledges keep coming in and I remain hopeful. I’m pulling out all the stops, putting myself out there in ridiculous ways I never thought I would to make this happen.

I wish there was a way to extend the deadline, or reduce the goal now, but Kickstarter doesn’t allow that. Outside of the KS interface, I’ve no way of knowing or contacting anyone who’s pledged except those names I recognize. Had I gone with there would have been a softer deadline and money trickles in as it is donated. Plus it is an international platform; Kickstarter seems restricted to the US.

One things for certain, I have learned who my friends are. Faith in many have been justified; others surprise me. Strangers of course bolster my faith in humanity.

So we’ll see. I ain’t giving up; I’m even planning on spending Thursday thinking about ways to avoid selling off the shop piecemeal. Totally uncharacteristic of me, this unbridled optimism, but it’s been a marathon and I see we have two days left to sprint.

To paraphrase a famous statement made to another Alabama-born product: “Run Ink Dial Run!”


I’m not sure that patenting the Ink Dial isn’t the wrong direction, I don’t know. I’m not sure what your long-term intended market is.

In rethinking this, I’d say that something like the Boxcar Base could not be patented since it was based on an existing practice. I obtained some old plastic newspaper bases back in the early 1980s which basically were the same thing. Also, if it were patented, there would be no Eluminum base. Hmm, maybe a good idea to patent it.

If Kickstarter fails you, heaven forbid, do you still have a shot at

Yeah, I’d be selling off the unused material from my shop. You have Monotype machines and a platemaker, right? About ten years ago I started selling off everything I wasn’t using and that was just taking up valuable rental space. Eventually, no matter how cool, it becomes a burden. But maybe not for someone else :—)

Hope the miracle happens.


One hour to go, shy of $15,000. What ever happened to those boastful letterpress “angels.” I guess the recession kind of sewed their mouths shut. Personally, I’m kind of glad they are not around anymore. Don’t have to listen to that high and mighty crap.


Wow.. Congratulations! I don’t know how you pulled it off! But you sincerely deserve my hat off, sir.
Good luck in your endeavor and I wish you the best of success. Please let me know when this is in production as I do intend to buy one.

It’s common for the person who posted the Kickstarter (or a person closely affiliated with them) to make a large “donation” to complete the campaign at the end.

I’d bet that is exactly what happened here, since there is no way this process requires $35,000.

Dear megahurt

That is a bet you would lose. You know as well as I that Kickstarter does not allow you to pledge to your own project. Kickstarter makes it pretty clear from the get-go pledges from any closely affiliation is in fact disallowed. If you are looking for transparency, please refer to the backer list which is public to everyone:

Yes, anonymous angels stepped forward at the very last moment, the last 5 minutes in fact. And yes, I was up watching it all unfold, instant messaging with a friend trying to get me through another one of my life’s miserable disappointments, unaware of what what happening right before my very eyes. And yes I get to know who the backers are. They communicated some specific conditions, mainly complete anonymity.
I respect your skepticism, but is it too much to ask you to cut another printer some slack. I thought you would be the first to appreciate what a grueling and humiliating experience it is to put so much of yourself out there and risk so much. I sincerely meant it when I wrote you privately back in November that had I known about your Letterpress+Autism Kickstarter campaign and that I would have gladly pledged [and I will if you try it a third time], but I was simply not aware of it. Your idea made perfect sense to me and I still see the value in it. It saddens me that I missed your Kickstarter since I’ve pledged to at least a dozen Kickstarter projects, most of which are letterpress related. 

If there was another avenue open to me to fund this, I would have. I’ve had this idea for a long while and after 20+ years of printing—not a long time I admit compared to many of our compatriots—I found myself with an opportunity to put this idea out there. Believe me, I didn’t have to. I’d have saved myself a lot of misery keeping it all to myself. And If I could do it all and ask for only $1000 I would have. I’m sorry I couldn’t share enough information to you relieve of your doubts.
I offered to speak with anyone who cared to contact me. Do you know who did? A total stranger: Mark Herschede up in NYC. It looks like runs are really fine shop, doing fine work, succeeding with few resources. We spent a good long while on the phone, him asking questions, me telling him everything about the tool, the system, my strategy for proofing color, the budget, etc. Do you know what he did? Why he had the nerve to not only pledge $500 as we were hanging up, but he posted a comment to the pledge page itself putting his reputation on the line testifying his support.
Do you know what my hero & best friend Amos Kennedy says? “If poor people don’t help one another, then who the hell is gonna help them? Nobody.”

Don’t get me wrong, I hope you succeed. I hope this device is useful, affordable, and available to me soon.

I do know that the practice of having a Kickstarter funded by someone you know is officially against the rules, but so is speeding. It goes on, and we all now it goes on. I just thought there was a good chance that you did that, since out of nowhere gigantic sums of money were suddenly given to you.

Good luck.

Years have gone by, and not a peep from this guy. I just saw the other kickstarter thread that popped up and thought I would resurrect this one. Nothing ever happened. Be warned.

My local large DIY store has had one of these for years for mixing paint with computer controlled colour matching.

When will people recognise that the letterpress industry with volume production died in the 1970s and what remains, even with the resurgence of interest is a tiny fraction of the orginal size. There never was a market for this idea.

In case anyone cares a whit half a decade later, the Ink Dial turned out to be one of the bigger fiascos in our post-modern letterpress world [sigh].

Terry Chouinard, who had been personally known to many Briar Press subscribers as a legitimate and talented printer, turned out to have a host of personal and psychological problems, which he then compounded by making horrendously bad choices about dealing with his issues.

While the Ink Dial originated as a legitimate project, it seems that Terry had defaulted on his student loans and the government had garnished his bank account. When the money from the successful campaign hit his account, it apparently was immediately seized by his creditors. This threw him into a tailspin triggering a psychological break down, since he simply saw no way of finishing the project and living up to his commitments.

Rather than man up to the issue and admit what had happened, Terry chose to run away from it, cutting dead the 300 people (many of them long-standing friends of his) who had contributed $35,000 in cash. He began to spiral into depression, lost his job, and has spent the past decade moving around taking and losing a dozen different jobs.

Across all this time he has not once reached out to anyone whose money he lost, not to apologize or even explain. The pandemic didn’t help things either, and to best of my knowledge he hasn’t worked much—if at all—during the past year.

All in all, this has been a complete tragedy, with a lot of people getting burned financially, and a talented but troubled person cutting himself off forever from the community and people that had supported him. So terribly sad. But now you know.

As someone that has struggled with the dangerous combination of anxiety and commitments in the past, it’s a very relatable story.

I think there is a way forward. Terrance has an opportunity to still acknowledge the contributions he received, just not how he planned in the kickstarter. If he shared his design and idea for the ink wheel with the letterpress community—no strings attached—and abandoned his hopes of patenting it, I think it would be an important symbolic gesture to the backers that he made a mistake, but wants to make amends. A way to pay it forward.

There are a lot of printers with machining knowledge and capabilities, and 3D printing technology has come a long way in 10 years. Collaboratively, I think we could make something happen.

I think it could be an important healing step for him too.