Last week I picked up this press from my friend Nancy Darrell in North Carolina. She upgraded and sold me her old Line-o-Scribe. Best $50 I ever spent!
I love my beautiful letterpress, but it has severe size limitations and is much more suited to small notecard-sized images than the 12" or so prints I tend to favor. Ironically, this much smaller and lighter press will do those easily. It's got a 14" bed, so my 14 1/2 x 16" standard paper just fits perfectly, and i can do much longer, taller things, just not wider than 14". I'm planning a couple of larger pieces in my head, now that I'm no longer having to print by rubbing (and rubbing...and rubbing) with a wooden spoon on the back of the paper. It's going to open up whole new worlds.
I tested the press with my largest type-high block, one I'd done for the letterpress when I first got it, before discovering this was too large and too dark for it to handle. It did just beautifully on the line-o-scribe. I can build up around the block (or around my larger wooden type for posters!) with "furniture", differently sized wooden strips that are lower than the block, so they won't get ink on them or print when the press rolls. I didn't have to use quoins for this -- just wedged thin strips into the wood to hold it steady. Since it all stays horizontal, it doesn't have to be as precise as my lock-up for the C&P.
This press also has a paper gripper to hold the paper in place while the roller goes across.
I just did several on newsprint to test out the press.
Finally I reprinted some of the Country Workshops tree print, which I was running low on. SO much easier than using the wooden spoon!
Martha Kelly is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee.