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Look What the Postman Brought!

We got a sweet little package in the mail last week from our friends at Igloo Letterpress. We met Alison at the National Stationery show in May, and found out she has ties to our home town of Columbia. She grew up here, and learned all about letterpress from her grandfather who ran a couple of presses, the ones Alison uses now. She was so sweet to send us a couple of his old printing blocks with some vintage Mizzou logos. How cool is that?!

Thanks Alison! We can’t wait to try printing with them! Mizzou-rah!!!

It’s hard to believe that August is almost over, but hopefully that means the hottest days are behind us.  It almost seems like there has been a hint of fall in the air the last couple of days, and it has felt so good.

It has been a busy week of printing in the new studio.  We’ve been working on several re-prints of some of our most popular pieces that will be reappearing in the shop soon.  The most exciting thing that happened this week was that we finished building our new, BIG, worktable.  And it is fantastic.

When we were planning out the new space I pictured in my mind a big table where we could spread things out and still have room to work.  I think this nails it.  Just what I had in mind.  A big thanks goes out to my brother, Dustin.  When I say “we built this table” what I really mean is, I described to Dustin what I wanted and he made it happen.

Great job Dustin!  I might just be dreaming up some more things we need.

:: Carrie::

Moving Day

Today all of our presses made the trip down the road to our new work space!  It is quite a process to move one press, let alone three.  Luckily we have people with the brains and the equipment to get the job done!

The presses were transported one at a time on the back of a flatbed pickup truck.  The mile long trip down the gravel road didn’t take much time, but it is the loading and unloading that keep us all on edge.  Remember, we’re talking 2000 lb. hunks of cast iron machinery here.

Loading them up for their journey required a forklift, which we have on site.  How convenient!  There is no forklift to be seen, however, at the unloading site.  So, we used a tractor with a loader.

Tractors weren’t designed to transport printing presses.  At least I don’t think that is what they had in mind.  But we made it work.

This is when you hope that my brother, who is behind the controls of this monster machine, doesn’t accidentally hit the wrong lever and drop the press on the ground.

Luckily he didn’t.

Easy does it.

This is the universal signal for “a little to the left!”

Once we had the press on the ground just inside the barn we took it the rest of the way on a pallet jack.  Getting it off the pallet jack onto the floor is a whole other story.  It involves putting wooden blocks underneath the press and lots of phrases like “Carrie, will you stand on the corner here and balance the press so it doesn’t tip over?”  True story.

Everything made it inside safe and sound, but I can’t take you in just yet!  We still have a lot of work to do before we’re ready to actually start using our new space.  But, take a look at the beautiful doors! These doors originally came from the old farmhouse that used to be right here next to this barn.  It is the house that our family used to live in, up until I was about 6 years old, before my parents built the house that they live in now.  I remember these doors as the ones that separated the kitchen from the dining room.  They have fancy glass knobs, and they have been waiting up in the loft of the barn for the last couple of decades.  I’m glad we get to use them.


A new space to call our own

We’ve got some exciting news!

1canoe2 is getting a new workspace!

How did this all happen?  Well, let me tell you.  A couple of years ago, Beth and I got this crazy idea to buy an old Chandler & Price letterpress that weighs a ton.  Literally.  Before we made the trip to Iowa to pick it up we thought we should probably figure out a place for it to reside once we got our hands on it.  We knew putting it in either of our own houses was not an option.  And neither of us have garages.  So I called my dad and we had a conversation that went something like this…

Me:  Hey Dad, Beth and I are buying an antique letterpress.  It weighs about 2000 pounds, is made of cast iron, and we don’t really know how to use it yet.  But we’re going to try.  Can we put it in your barn?

Dad:  Sure!  And, we’ll just use the forklift to move it around, and you can use any our tools, and yeah, go ahead and take over the front room.  We’ll just work around your stuff.

And that is kind of what happened.  We moved right in.  Then the fall season came around.  In my family, fall means harvest time, but it also means corn maze time.  For the last 10 years we have created a maze in our corn field and it has become a fairly large attraction in our area.  People love the maze!

Our little print shop was not a part of the corn maze business plan, so we got moved out.  Moved down the road actually, to my parents garage.  For about three months.

You can see in this picture we’ve gained another press.  And, a guillotine style paper cutter, which isn’t small either.  Printing continued, seamlessly.

After moving back to the barn we acquired yet another press, a Kluge with automatic feed.  This operation is getting serious!

Then my dad and I had another conversation that went something like this…

Dad: Carrie, corn maze season is coming up again before too long.  We’re going to have to find a more permanent place for you girls to go.

Shoot.  We’ve finally worn out our welcome, we’re getting kicked out!

Dad:  I was thinking, we could pour some concrete in the barn by the house, and we could build you your own room.  We could put all your presses and equipment in there, and you girls could just use that room how ever you want.

Me:  Seriously?!  Um…okay!

So that is how this all happened.  See, we told you we have GREAT DADS!!!

This is the barn that we will be moving into soon.  It’s the real deal.  It is probably around 100 years old, but in great shape.  I grew up playing in and around this barn.  It seemed like I was always climbing up into the loft looking for our cats and their litters of kittens.

Here is a shot of early progress.  Concrete has been poured over the dirt floor where our studio will be, and the walls are starting to take shape.


How lucky are we?!  The support and encouragement we get from our families is unbelievable.  We’ve got big plans for this room, and we have already rounded up some new furniture to help in organizing the space.  We are extremely excited to move in, hopefully not too many weeks from now!

Don’t worry, we’ll keep you posted.

:: Carrie ::