This week I'm cleaning my studio in preparation for my annual Open Studio holiday sale, all the while singing, "Make your house fair as you are able" from one of my favorite Advent hymns. My fair never looks like other people's fair, but it will be good enough to invite all of you lovely people in to have cookies and cider next weekend. And you should totally turn out to see Melissa Bridgman's marvelous pottery. I'm so excited she's joining me this year.
One of my preparations is printing the invitations on my press. I hand set the type, which takes me a while since I don't do it that often, but it's also highly satisfying.
I casually mentioned a "California case" the other day and came up against a blank stare. Just like typewriter keyboards, printers cases are organized so you can grab the more used letters more easily, so they are not a to z in the alphabet song order. I still have to cheat and look at my diagram sometimes. (I always lose the "k.") Here's the case, pulled most of the way out of my cabinet, along with the diagram.
I set the type in a smaller block and then build out around it with wooden "furniture" to make it fit inside the "chase" or frame that fits in my press.
I was on a printing roll this week. I got a bulk order for some cards, so I reprinted these trees as well. I'll have a bunch more at my open house. Stop by next weekend and have a cookie or three.
Martha Kelly is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee.
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