We did it! Last few hours to jump in on this awesome... love to have you join in!
BONUS REWARD FOR EXTRA AWESOMENESS: all backers at $5 pledges & above will receive a hand-picked surprise piece of letterpress printed ephemera from the Stern & Faye archives included with their reward! Another way to say thank you. And all backers at $35 pledges and above will get a copy of Twenty-One Gun Salute by David Lee, the very last book 'in print' (and officially out of print after this Kickstarter) published by Grey Spider Press.
4/25/14: I am filled with wonder and gratitude, and simple good ol' fashioned excitement. From here, sky's the limit: anything raised beyond the original goal will buy more type from Stern & Faye, fund scholarships for the workshops I'm teaching in the fall, and get the shop fully up and running that much sooner. Thank you for joining me on this trek, every day more beautiful (and useful!) than I imagined.
Hi there! I'm Myrna Knode and I own and operate Expedition Press, a small publishing house and letterpress print shop. I’ve been printing and making books for seven years, from one end of the Puget Sound to the other. I set my first line of type at the Evergreen State College in Olympia, apprenticed to Stern & Faye, Printers in the Skagit Valley, and studied with master bookbinder Carolina Veenstra in Kingston. Two years ago I opened my own studio in my hometown of Indianola, where I’ve been quietly printing, reading, writing, binding, and experimenting.
This winter, two once-in-a-lifetime opportunities knocked on my studio door simultaneously: to acquire a full shop’s worth of printing equipment from my teacher and dear friend Jules Faye, and to publish a new collection of poems by Sally Green. I said yes to both. Woke up in shock and excitement a week later, and I’ve been working around the clock ever since to make it all happen.
Well, I’ve made a lot happen since December. I rented a new shop space in downtown Kingston that can accommodate all the new equipment. It needs some love & sweat, for sure - and a window or two. The landlords are gung-ho, the lease is signed, and renovations are underway. I’ve trekked up to the Skagit every other weekend since January: poured through the shop inventory, measured everything twice, made to-scale drawings for the new shop layout, decided what to buy, and priced everything. We rented the biggest truck we could find, shrink-wrapped everything in sight, hired a forklift, and moved the equipment across the Puget Sound.
Here’s where you come in:
This Kickstarter will pay off the printing equipment ($5000), reimburse moving costs ($750) and basic shop-readying expenses ($750), and cover fees, taxes, and reward fulfillment ($1000).
I’m campaigning for these funds in the interest of a sustainable venture. The shop is rented and the equipment has been moved, thanks to just enough credit, a lot of helping hands, and a whole lot of faith. Now I am rolling up my sleeves even further, and from the midst of half-opened boxes and half-made books, I am asking you to support me in carrying forward the literary fine press tradition that I have inherited from so many incredible teachers. I am fully committed to this work and excited to share it. You're invited to join in on the awesomeness!
Here’s what I’m purchasing to outfit my new shop:
- 1901 Golding Jobber No. 6 Platen Press
- Challenge Guillotine Paper Cutter, 23” blade
- 3 Type Cabinets with cases (2 Hamilton and one rare Golding cabinet)
- 2 Galley Racks with galleys (1 Hamilton and one oversize Challenge)
- Beautiful marble composing stone set in oak frame
- Hamilton metal furniture rack with full set of metal furniture
- Double-wide steel slant top work surface with leading rack
- Various small tools, ink, paper, and a 3’ x 8’ work table
- Over two tons of metal type
Exciting, isn’t it? All of this equipment has come direct from the heart of Stern & Faye's legendary 'Print Farm.' And it’s come just in the nick of time. Along with the bigger shop space, this equipment is making it possible for me to complete Full Immersion, my first book release as Expedition Press.
CURRENT BOOK PROJECT
Full Immersion is a collection of poems by Sally Green. It is a fine press poetry book, to be published in a limited edition of 300. An accomplished printer and publisher herself, Sally is deeply connected and dedicated to the literary community both locally and abroad. After 30 years of publishing other poets' work under the imprint of Brooding Heron Press, this is the well-deserved first book of her own. It’s a great honor to have been entrusted with.
News about Full Immersion has spread clear to Ireland, and a lot of support has already been garnered. Right now I’m smack dab in the middle of the publishing process. I’ve accepted the final manuscript, designed the structure of the book, sourced materials, set a budget, funded that budget with a few short-term loans, established an ambitious production timeline, ordered materials, and designed the interior layout of the book. Phew. What’s left to do: design the title page, print the book, and bind it. This Kickstarter will directly make those last two steps possible. Ever tried to bind 300 books at once? Step #1: fold 3000 sheets of paper in half. It takes a lot of table space.
Now, the part you’ve been waiting for! I’ve put together a bunch of awesome rewards for you, summed up in three main categories:
- letterpress prints that I’ve already made
- custom work that I will make for you
- opportunities to come make things with me!
This Kickstarter is a chance for you to pick up what’s left of the limited edition prints from my artist portfolio, pre-order a copy of Full Immersion, or commission something new and get your name in a priority place on Expedition Press’ production calendar. Here are a few pics of the prints being offered. See what suits your fancy!
CONTEXT: HISTORICAL & CONTEMPORARY
Entranced by type, and more specifically the beauty of letterpress printing, Chris Stern founded the Grey Spider Press in 1986 in order to pursue private interests in typography, printing and hand bookmaking. Grey Spider Press became the literary fine press publishing wing of the work that Jules and Chris did together as Stern and Faye, Printers. Just as in earlier eras, they acted as book designer, compositor, editor, proofreader, printer, publisher & bookseller as well as bookbinder and occasional illustrator.
Grey Spider Press published the majority of poetry books written by Sam Green, Washington state's first poet laureate and spouse of poet Sally Green. Among many strange and wonderful things, I have the privilege to acquire Stern & Faye’s house run of Perpetua type, and will be using it to print Sally’s first book, some 24 years after Chris Stern used the very same type to make Sam’s first book! I am deeply honored to be part of the next generation of fine press poetry here in the Pacific Northwest.
Next generation, that’s right! There’s a whole host of folks bolstering and burgeoning the crafts of letterpress printing and hand bookbinding on a daily basis. Mine is just the newest shop on the block. Stern & Faye is sometimes affectionately known as the 'Johnny Appleseed of Northwest Letterpress,' and it’s not just because so many shops have picked up presses and type from their mind-bogglingly expansive collection. It’s because of Chris and Jules’ dedication to the craft, their commitment to printing and to the presses, their high standards and impeccable design, their belief in the long term, and their love of all things literary, typographical, and bookish. This influence permeates shops from Portland to Bellingham. To name a few: Amada Press, Beans 'n Rice, Beautiful Angle, Bison Bookbinding & Letterpress, C.C. Stern Type Foundry, Cornish College of the Arts, Keegan Meegan & Co., Myrtle Alley Press, School of Visual Concepts, Stumptown Printers, and Thirteen Black Press. To see more, take a look at Stern & Faye's community page.
WHAT THE HECK IS LETTERPRESS?
Just in case you can't get enough, here are two great places to learn more:
Risks and challenges
When all is said and done, the main challenge will be delivering things on time. For any reward that involves custom work, I've set the estimated delivery to December 2014, recognizing that it depends entirely on how many backers choose those rewards. Custom work will be produced on a first come, first serve basis. When the dust settles from the Kickstarter campaign and chapbook binding frenzy, I will set a production timeline for the custom rewards and contact all backers in early June, to let you know exactly what to expect. I aim to have all rewards wrapped up and delivered by the fourth quarter of this year, but then again - I'm hoping a lot of y'all back those awesome custom printing rewards, which means a lot of work!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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