200 words about a letterpress
Do art; smash stuff together
The son of a bitch is a thousand pounds, maybe more. It's all cast iron except for the rollers, which are coated with some kind of polymer, and two parallel wooden platforms that are nearly as thick as railroad ties. It takes seven hours, six steel pipes, several two-by-fours, a demonic-looking prybar, a mechanical lift, a carjack, a UHaul trailer, one writer, one illustrator, a guy named Kent (who does most of the work), and a 2013 Honda Ridgeline to move it about six miles. It's a printing press; it makes prints. I'll explain further: you turn a wheel and heavy pieces of metal come together with great force to smush an ink-slathered plate into a piece of paper. An image is born. "So she can print all her designs using this?" a friend asks me. No. God, no. That would be a nightmare to even attempt. You have to keep it simple on a machine like this. Two colors, maybe three. Doing art is always a restrictive process, bound by time and grammar, our wanting imaginations and the peculiar difficulties of the tools we use to bend dreams. This one, for instance, is very hard to get across town.