Yesterday was a jammed packed day, beginning with the letterpress class I'm taking in Pasadena in the morning and ending with the first session of the intaglio and screenprinting classes I'm teaching at night at Long Beach City College. Finally home at the end of it all, I wound down by watching an episode of Hung. Seemed like a nice counterbalance to the day.
Behold above, my first letterpress print. I got to use the fabulous Vandercook 4, pictured in an earlier post. Sixty prints in about half a minute, it seemed. Here's the routine: Step on the foot lever to open the paper clamp, slip in the paper just so, take foot off the lever to close the clamp. Turn the handle with the right hand to move the roller assembly along the track. Walk beside it as it moves while using the left hand to hold the end of the paper against the roller until it catches on the tape. Listen for the click at the end of the process, stop the roller and remove the paper. Roll the assembly back to starting position, ready for a new sheet.
It was a thrill.
Total student count between the two classes: 33. A good group. I had to turn many, many waitlisted students away, as did most of my colleagues across campus. These are sad times for education, especially in California where massive budget cuts are tearing huge holes into what used to be a good system.