This past weekend here in Canada was our Thanksgiving weekend and also the weekend we hosted our open studio, in conjunction with the Westport studio tour. It was a big hit! Lots and lots of people came through and viewed our letterpress demonstrations (giving me the chance to print actual orders but in front of people), bought some product and enjoyed our cake pops.
A few interesting things learned this weekend:
1. Apparently some public schools in the area used to have Heidelberg letterpresses in school classrooms, which students would run by attaching a belt to a stationary bicycle (!!!). The Heidelbergs were replaced by Vandercooks, however, because they were considered to have less moving parts for kids to get caught in. My, how things have changed.
2. Soooo many people have fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers who were printers. One lady told me her great-grandfather was a typesetter in Germany and died of lead-poisoning because of dealing with type his whole life (!!!).
3. Many people were very concerned for the safety of my fingers when they were watching me feed the paper into press. I then proceeded to show them all the “safety” mechanism, which lifts my arm off the platen and there were many collective sighs of relief.
4. Our Michael Jordan cardboard cut-out on the stairs really worked to prevent people from going up the steps.