I feel pretty damn inconsistent when it comes to posting stuff. It would be awesome to say it’s due to being so productive in the AP studio. But unfortunately I cannot use that excuse. I jus been tugged in a lot of directions the last handful of months. Not to say I haven’t done some neat stuff. Like the debut album cover for Kodiak Deathbeds. A wonderful album with the combined talents of Derek Fudesco (Cave Singers) and Amber Webber (Black Mountain) It is a spooky good album. Working with Derek and Amber was excellent, just wonderful artists who restore my faith when it comes to collaborating on the vision side.
At the beginning we decided to do a limited edition of hand made intaglio album covers. SO i approached the project with a 1:1 scale. Which was pretty great. I am a big fan of music and vinyl. Part of my appreciation of analog processes and the brilliant tactile rituals that come along with vinyl LPs.
It is a copper etching on Arches cover, the ink is a graphic chemical renaissance black (my favorite ink)
all the song titles and the album title were etched..
looks pretty swell as an album cover
Each of the limited edition (50) was hand pulled, cut and glued in the AP studio.
Even letterpressed these handbill inserts. ohhh gold metallic ink on arches cover stock..
it has been a while since I posted anything on this here AP blog. It’s funny how things work. I find my mind drifting and contemplating the things I do, don’t do.. want to do.. don’t want to do and the WHY of it all quite a bit.
For example.. I haven’t really been productive as of late. I mean I haven’t been drawing on copper and making prints and posting them or anything like that. Which to folks who follow this blog and or facebook or whatever (sure I am assuming much) appears like i am just probably institutionalized or otherwise intoxicated and fallen off the map. Or whatever. That’s what I think when my pals disappear for a bit. But all that is only half true. I have been busy.. I always seem to be busy.. but just not with the stuff I want to be doing.. namely making prints CREATING ART.
See I recognize i am self sabotaging. I really really get it. It would be hilarious and depressing to give a run down on all the opportunities and amazing doors that have been opened for me artistically that i have just kinda shrugged at and let close with only the slightest consideration and a chaser of fine scotch whiskey. These events just act to remind me of how undependable and inconsistent and at the whims of the cosmos I am when it comes to creative endeavors. It is also why I turn away from any sort of “job” or “commercial” effort or even collaborations (with the exception of those few amazingly patient souls who know me and know what they are getting into.. which is to say an exercise in frustration)
SO yeah. I mentioned at the end of 2013 that I bought another intaglio studio and got a bunch of equipment. YAY. Well here in 2014 I bought another studio. This one being a very old Letterpress Studio from San Diego called Barley Brea. Pretty awesome right? It came with a beautiful Chandler and Price platen press, a wonderful proofing press and over 150 metal and wood type sets in these ancient hamilton type cases. Pretty much christmas. Everything has been sealed up in storage for as long as i have been alive so it was all this amazing time capsule of print history. I have been so busy/lazy not really posting about it. It was a ton of work and here are some photos.
SO you might be asking yourself “what would a rogue intaglio warrior want with all that letterpress relief equipment” annnnd you’d be right. Beyond making a series of prints under the slogan “WHAT THE FUCK?” I really am not at all sure. I can only say that sometimes things happen with unfettered manic psychosis . look forward to a bitchin hand letterpressed christmas card from AP this year I guess.
Elsewhere I have done some neat projects.. like making this shirt for one of my favorite bands.
and making this neat stuff for the International Gallery of contemporary art. I was going to actually participate in one of their events but then I realized that would involve actual “people” and “interaction” so instead IGCA got these flags and books that they could use as giveaways for people who signed up for membership at the event. Everyone wins!
But seriously, the IGCA is a wonderful group and a solitary warrior in the state of Alaska providing a non-coffee shop environment for contemporary artists so YAY IGCA.
Oh and for October I did the INKTOBER thing. I actually made one of those instagram accounts and have tried to post daily ink drawings.. if you want to check it out http://instagram.com/isaboja
So at least I am drawing stuff right??
Well. I have quite a few plates in the works that i hope to actually complete before twenty fifteen (UGHHHH) One thing I will guarantee is that I won’t rush it. haha. It will be JUUUUUST RIIIIIGHT when I finally do complete something.
Oh and I was invited to be in a contributor at the Southern Graphics Council International (SGCI) Conference in 2015. Which if I miraculously meet the deadlines will be pretty rad. wish me luck.
I have been promising to post more cool studio stuff. SO here we go. Let me introduce you to the Antiquated Press’s sweet little letterpress man. We call him Mr Bitey - but he is officially a Excelsior Mercury 5X8 - These cool presses were made for a hundred years by the Kelsey company starting in the late 1800’s I would give a detailed history but thats all kinda boring. If you want to get into these sorts of machines there are some really great resources and old timers with insight into the production and distribution etc.
I wanna talk about RESTORATION!
so Mr Bitey was discovered in a sad corner of a thrift shop - he had been out in the weather for years and suffered from ages of build up rust and deterioration.
the shop owner (I didn’t catch his name so let’s just call him snaggletooth mcgee) well he was eager to sell me what appeared to him to be some sort of hamburger patty maker. And he offered it to me for a hundred bucks. I didn’t hesitate and he obviously was disappointed he did not ask for more. I am not much of a haggler… the opposite actually, its hard not to be all “are you kidding me! this is an original Kelsey! "
SO I took poor rusty Mr Bitey home and took some details of his condition.
really besides having some serious rust issues in on the platen, the chase and the inside of the base.. and the rollers being completely rotten. It was in pretty decent condition. Nothing was missing except a few of the retaining clips.
it would not function obviously as it was rusted solid. But slowly I dismantled it piece by piece. Sometimes having to chisel away the barnacle like accumulation of rust.
you can see in this picture the chase is really bad. but once I got it all taken apart I deliberated on how to clean it up. Knowing it was cast iron which is pretty much indestructible (pretty much) and since i grew up with southern roots I have cleaned my fair share of cast iron jambalaya pots. SO i figured oil and steel wool would be a good start.
Oil and steel wool is really non toxic and awesome but didn’t even come close to getting this poor guy straight. So I whipped out the rubber gloves and got my Naval Jelly (the only thing for the job) and one of these guys
its a multipurpose stripper that attaches to your drill. It worked like a CHAMP and really took the elbow out of it all. So after about 30 applications and dwell times with the naval jelly followed up with scrubbing and stripping with this.. well my kelsey was looking pretty damn good.
I protected the platen and chase and the areas that the rollers ride on the chase with some masking tape before priming all the parts.
I ordered replacement ink rollers from ebay - they were pretty affordable. And then painted it up real nice in a two tone black and blue.
look at those shiny parts
everything fit together like butter… BUTTERRR. and check out that smooth platen.
more saucy photos
Mr Bitey gained his name right after this photo was taken, as he is prone to chomp at fingers. But he does function perfectly - smooth operation all around. Lil Joe even sorted out how to print type high blocks with his solidoodle 3d printer to make custom letterpress images. pretty sweet.
And here he is at home with our studio etching press.
If you too are restoring an old rusty letterpress - feel free to give me a shout. If you ever run across one of these in a thrift shop.. and it is complete BUY IT - they are wonderful machines.