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A Defense of Letter Writing, Notecards, and Snail Mail

Posted on September 15, 2016 by Taylor Cox

I recently came across a TED Talk by Lkshmi Pratury on the lost art of letter writing. She speaks of the connection she was able to keep with her father through old letters after he passed away. It is a wonderfully captivating video and I fully recommend watching it. 

The hand written letter offers a tactile connection between sender and receiver which is lost when the message is sent digitally via email or text. In a hand written letter, the intention and care is evident in the curve of a letter looped across the page. Set to the task of sifting through old emails in our inboxes, how long would we last before being fed up with boredom? Confronted with a box of old letters however, we become lost in the ink on the pages, able to sink into them for hours. 

It may not be the fastest or most efficient form of communication, but a letter is not something that can be lost into the depths of your inbox or in the next software update. It is a way to show the care and intention from one person to another.

It is this tactile connection from sender to receiver that we wish to share with our customers. We lovingly design and print our notecards so that they enhance your everyday life, to make the mundane special and spectacular. So I urge you to write more letters. To find a friend or loved one that lives across the country or even across the street and write them a letter and show them that you care. 

 

While I admit that the irony of this article being posted on a digital blog is blatantly obvious to me, I would like to note that its ideas originated from ink and paper, lovingly written by hand in my looping, un-spell checked writing. 

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Iron Hand Press Restoration Day One

Posted on September 07, 2016 by Taylor Cox

 

Today marks the beginning steps of restoration on our 20th Century Reliance Iron Hand Press. Those of you who have visited the shop may have seen the disassembled press in the corner. It’s been our wish to get the press back into working order for quite a while and now we’re finally beginning the process! 

Day one began with a consultation with the wonderful Carl Montford who has restored a number of iron hand presses in the past and will be our guide to making sure we get the press back together in one piece. 

The good news from Carl? We have successfully moved the press twice without losing any of the original parts, and the frame is still in good, sturdy condition. 

The bad news from Carl? There’s a lot of rust on the frame of the press that will need to be removed and to do so, we'll need lots of elbow grease. 

A quick run down of the process ahead:
Step one will be to move the press away from the wall to its final resting place so it is easier to clean. Then comes the de-rusting process. A long and very dirty task, this will probably take up most of our time. Next the press gets a fresh coat of paint and and some sparkly gold leaf on the lettering up top. Restoration of the wooden fixtures of the press comes next. Then finally it’s on to assembly day. 

 

Thanks to the generosity of the Spadeworks Tacoma Creative Enterprise Tier Three Grant, we are able to dedicate our time and energy into the restoration of this piece of history. 


Press Specs:
Press Type: 20th Century Reliance Iron Hand Press
Model: 1A
Serial No.: 1275
Patented: 1895 by W.M. A. Field Co., Chicago, Illinois 
Weight: 1,300 lbs.
Footprint: H: 5.5” x L: 4” x W: 2.5”



(The Wonderful Carl Montford, our restoration guide.) 

 


(Carl pointing out to us the excessive rusting on the top of the frame while holding the prized bag of smaller excess parts)



(One day all this rust will be replaced with new paint and a shiny gold leaf on the lettering.)

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Thank you, Tacoma, & Thank you, Spaceworks!

Posted on February 26, 2016 by Yoshiko Yamamoto

Tacoma's Spaceworks nets $100K grant from Chase Foundation

"Tacoma’s Spaceworks program has received a $100,000 grant from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, for use toward its Creative Business Strategic Growth Plan."

We (The Arts & Crafts Press) are a proud alumnus of this Creative Enterprise program and are excited to continue to learn and work with the Spaceworks expert business advisory team for their upcoming Tier II program this spring. 

Thank you, Tacoma & Thank you, Spaceworks, for welcoming us and continuing to work with us! 

To read more about this feat, please click here. And to find out about Spaceworks, click here

 

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Meet us at Arts & Crafts Conference in Asheville, NC (Feb 18-20. 2016)

Posted on February 17, 2016 by Yoshiko Yamamoto

Yes, it's that time of the year! Would you like to join us at the 29th annual Arts & Crafts Conference at Grove Park Inn, Asheville, NC this weekend (Feb 18th- 20th)? At the show we'll premier our two new blockprints: "Mt. Rainier - White Pass" (triptych) and "Tea Blossoms" (with gold hand-illumination). I can't wait to see you all in beautiful Asheville!

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Valentine Blockprint Workshop at Craft in America Center

Posted on February 02, 2016 by Yoshiko Yamamoto

Thank you, to all of you who came to my block printing workshop this Sunday at Craft in America Center in Beverly Hills, CA. With considerable talent and power of concentration in our group, everyone got to transfer their designs to the linoleum block, carve out the printing block, and print, within 3 hours!

Handcraft work is not only artistically rewarding, but it does something positive to our mind and body. One participant came late to the workshop, because of the torrential downpour and accidents on the freeways, telling me how exhausted and stressed she was. But as she progressed with her work, and especially when she began carving the intricate designs, her tensions seemed to melt away. I gave her a magna visor to try out, to carve out the most fine details of bird legs. Once she she put that on, it seemed she found her own pace, her own world. She worked intently for the rest of the workshop and created a beautiful blockprint. 

Many special thanks to Sebastian, Emily, and everyone at the Center and especially Carol Sauvion, the proprietor of Freehand Gallery, potter, and the visionary producer of the documentary series "Craft in America". You all inspire us to do better work!

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Valentine Blockprint Workshop at Craft in America Center

Posted on February 02, 2016 by Yoshiko Yamamoto

Thank you, to all of you who came to my block printing workshop this Sunday at Craft in America Center in Beverly Hills, CA. With considerable talent and power of concentration in our group, everyone got to transfer their designs to the linoleum block, carve out the printing block, and print, within 3 hours!

Handcraft work is not only artistically rewarding, but it does something positive to our mind and body. One participant came late to the workshop, because of the torrential downpour and accidents on the freeways, telling me how exhausted and stressed she was. But as she progressed with her work, and especially when she began carving the intricate designs, her tensions seemed to melt away. I gave her a magna visor to try out, to carve out the most fine details of bird legs. Once she she put that on, it seemed she found her own pace, her own world. She worked intently for the rest of the workshop and created a beautiful blockprint. 

Many special thanks to Sebastian, Emily, and everyone at the Center and especially Carol Sauvion, the proprietor of Free Hand, potter, and the visionary producer of the documentary series "Craft in America". You all inspire us to do better work!

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29th Annual Grove Park Inn Arts & Crafts Conference

Posted on February 02, 2016 by Taylor Cox

Want to come see us at the 29th Annual Arts & Crafts Conference for free?

Email us at info@artsandcraftspress.com with your name and number of people and we'll send them your way!

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