What to do,what to do….???

Hey folks.I’m stuck and don’t know where else to turn.I have an incredible letpress shop that is sitting idle and I need fresh ideas.It’s that,or fresh blood.I’m completely open to suggestion and offers.
You must wonder what we’re talking about here.It’s old school only.Hundreds of fonts and perhaps the last 1911 NS C&P standing.Also,a Poco 0 Model,an original Hoe Proof Press with a solid iron roller.AH hell,it’s too much to list.The challenge to YOU is this.How can I bring this gear to maximum profit and benefit,either to ME or to MANKIND {not to abuse the women in the field,of course}.

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Let’s start with the basics. Where are you located??????


One of my goals, Lord willing, once I get myself up to speed, is to take what I have learned in to elementary schools in my area. I think it would be exciting for K - 5 kids to get to see how a platen press is operated and the process to get to the final printed sheet. The challenge would be getting the press to the schools. Maybe a mini shop set up in a pull behind trailer. My having a Golding Pearl #11 might make getting into the classroom a bit easier as well. A bunch of logistics to work out, but you get the idea. Perhaps you could do something similar with the proof press. Or offer classes in house.

I would also suggest that you look at what other shops are doing for some inspiration.

OK.I’m going thru a divorce.That’s the touchy part.I’m still “unsettled”,so to speak.I have a standing offer to take the shop to Greensboro NC where the prospects are good for letpress.HOWEVER,I have something of a dream that I’d like to fulfill of staying here in Lewisburg,WV.It is my home,really,but if you are familiar with this state,you know it is behind the national curve of cultural trends.This is actually an asset to me,as I could be helpful to anyone who has a genuine interest in exploring the possibilities of the craft.
I’ve seen and studied plenty of “others”,but as is typical in the way I view life,nothing satisfies.I’m most interested in using the equipment to establish a group effort,but one cannot expect much from my limited experience {5 yrs} but as hopeful curator.I have too many concerns over the financial logistics of instruction.Insurance,rents,other buzzards would make short work of me,I’m afraid.
It might be nice to work in tandem with the university system in some way.At bottom,I would need a trusted PATRON.
Barring the chance to stay with my gear,I would consider selling it as a package,but I ain’t giving it away.

all good ideas which you yourself will have to explore. Perhaps you could be the one to get WV in line with “the national curve of cultural trends”.

contact any writing/poetry/creative groups in your area (start one?)some one might be able to a patron or be able to find funds to help you explore possibilities, any one close to you from Fine Press Book Association(at least check out the websites of members?), where I work letterpress began to run again when we were donated a hand platen and type, so seriously think about a local college connection, or is there an arts teacher training college so that trainees could come and learn and practice….really hope something works out, any retired printers/printing unions clubs might be interested???

Good idea Jonathan.I HAVE spoken to the local community college art guy,but the best suggestion he had for this area was to enter the private sector in tandem with some federal program.A good idea as well if not for the fact that my wife has fucked my credit in a systematic and legal way.This is an indefensible spot I am in,and if you think I’m an asshole,you’re right,I suppose.Try living for pleasing a female in the “best years of your life”,give it at least a decade to “prove your love”,be sure and have a child {preferably a son},build a morgage-free house for them to live in and become a house husband who lives on scraps and no sex.BE SURE to support her decision to leave you behind in the hopes of finding a wealthier,better looking husband the next time!!!
Oh,we were talking about letpress,weren’t we?Sorry…Let me return to the matter at hand.I can’t exactly find a patron.ANY PATRONS OUT THERE??CALLING ALL PATRONS>>>>

I think you should bring your letterpress stuff to me and i will keep it safe for the next 10 years till this divorce thing is finally settled.

I was about to type the same thing. I’ll happily keep all of your presses safe, and if you feel the need to lighten your load on the way from WV to NC, I’m in VA. ;)

There is a book arts center here in Charlottesville, VA as well as in Richmond, VA. I’m sure there’s a book arts center somewhere in NC as well.

Blaine-hope you keep your sanity and as much else that has been left for you, persevere-I got married just a few years ago, had never wanted children but ended up with a stepson. Appreciate the advice you have for us.On youtube are nice videos of “community’ printshops, maybe by contacting them they might be able to offer a business model/advice.

Hope your situation improves. Would you happen to have a table top proof press you would consider selling? Could be a Nolan or Vandercook or other???

Well.I have things to sell,that’s for sure,but I won’t do business unless it’s face-to-face.If you want to meet,call my parents house and talk to Joe Dillon.He can get in touch with me and we’ll put a meeting together!
The first things I want to move are 19th century print cabs.I also have loads of lead type.The crown jewel of this cache is the 1911 NS C&P.I’ve moved it once and could assist in moving it again….

I’m in the Richmond/Tri-Cities area of Virginia, if you end up coming this way please contact me. I’m confident there are opportunities here. I joined the SBA but have not scouted out suitable location(s). I need to take the time to learn properly (or find a partner with letterpress experience) before I’d be willing to make the jump from hobbyist to printer. I have lots of ideas, and inspiration. I have “some” equipment, and a flexible budget but little real experience. I’m working on developing skills and contacts, rather than production.

I believe “Artistic Letterpress” has a good future if resources are available to interested students. Production of artist books, “art” in composition, etc. Opportunities exist in market niches that are not saturated - by any means. I hope to develop the knowledge and skills to move in that direction.
I’m debating whether I should:
1. Post for a mentor
2. Beg for an internship/apprenticeship.
I’d be happy to sweep floors, clean (sort or wash) type and/or do any work required for the opportunity to learn. I’ve currently pursuing private classes at the Visual Arts Center.

I’m hoping to do artistic work. I love the creative process and seeking out solutions to unusual designs whether in print or finishing.

After reading a recent post, I need to clarify my goals. I have read and studied “General Printing”, Cleeton, Pitkin and Cornwell. I scoured web resources including the National Archives to “book” study the process of letterpress. I recently ordered “Letterpress Printing, A manual for fine letterpress printers” from Oak Knoll Press.
My “Artistic” books and projects are the types of books and papers I have loved all my life: Books printed on fine paper with occasional embossing or debossing as ornament on pages.
There is much more to learn than I could possibly pick up from reading in a book, or taking a weekend course.

Wondering what happened to your print shop and your dreams of building upon your vision?
Finished my divorce in March this year.
My presses have sat idle two years.
Gearing up to print again, at last.