Pushing the envelope (and notecard)

A few weeks ago, I learned from a flier in a local restaurant about the flea market that takes place at the Benton County Fairgrounds one Saturday a month. In anticipation of lots of thrifting finds, I went to the fairgrounds’ website today for a preview. While there wasn’t a list of vendors, I did find out that spots are still open to sell crafts at the May 10 market. With that, the fire was lit. What, I thought, if I could sell my letterpress art? I’ve been spending long hours in OSU’s letterpress studio lately. Although I’ve been working on printing my own wedding invitations, I’ve become quite facile with the equipment and it wouldn’t be hard to turn out some notecards and envelopes.

I love working in the shop. It’s in the basement of the Art Department building, and stacked almost floor-to-ceiling with cabinets of old type in all fonts—Garamond, Futura, Caslon, Century Schoolbook. But my favorite couple of drawers are the ones that house truly old wood type. While not all the letters of the alphabet have made it into the present, there are plenty of initials to choose from. I’m thinking simple at this point: blank notecards and envelopes with single initials printed from these wood type pieces. I made some already for my friend Sarah:

SWD cards
Cards, packaged and ready to send.

SWD cards2

Close-up of wood block printing

Now I’m in planning mode—perhaps my favorite mode, as I’m the type of person who loves ideas in their nascent stages, the way they pervade every minute of the day. I love to-do lists and adding new things to my planner, and, in general, the taste of anticipation. Especially when it involves long hours in the letterpress room.

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