It has been a long, hot, humid summer here in the central Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, but the Press Room is cool and bright and dry. With most of the physical improvements to the basement space accomplished (never say "finished" -- there will always be a long list of little things to do and tend!), we moved the equipment into it's new home in July. Everything takes longer than one anticipates, and many of the improvements required more effort than first assessments suggested, but all those weeks of work have finally paid off in a very nice place to spend the work-a-day hours.
Several weeks ago, we also welcomed the long-awaited Potter Proof Press into the refurbished shop. Manufactured in Chicago, circa 1915, the Potter is now our largest printing press -- a VERY heavy hunk of cast iron and steel. It has a large cylinder, inking rollers, and 17" x 26" bed, which will allow us to print larger formes such as poetry broadsides, woodblock prints, and multi-page book layouts. It was quite the process wrangling her off of the delivery truck and into the shop -- involving 3 people, a lift gate, a pallet jack, iron digging bar, numerous 2x4 blocks, and 3 hours -- *whew*! All went well, and the fine press is now ready to enjoy a good cleaning before getting down to work.
The former Print Shop space in the adjacent room has been transformed into the Paper Arts Studio. A new utility sink and tables at one end of the room will serve the craft of papermaking; a long counter, large flat file, and new paper cutter at the other end will serve the craft of bookbinding.
As one can see, it's been a busy summer, and I am very glad to say that it is now time to turn our attention to the fun part -- printing! Several projects are in the design- and early-proofing stages, and I look forward to sharing more news about that in the near future.
Until then, thanks again for your interest and support of St Brigid Press. Blessings to all,