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A community of writers and artists making letterpress-printed books & ephemera.
90 backers pledged $3,924 to help bring this project to life.

About

Meekling Press: Handmade books & a 120-year-old letterpress project video thumbnail
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Meekling Press is an adventurous publishing collective of writers, fine artists, printmakers, musicians, performers, and midwestern swashbucklers hoping to raise funds to help with the purchase and restoration of an antique letterpress machine, as well as for the execution of a number of upcoming projects.  

Look! Look! Isn't she beautiful? & all those drawers of type?
Look! Look! Isn't she beautiful? & all those drawers of type?

Who are we?

The collective is headquartered in Chicago, and is less of a collective and more of a circus crew. Or a factory line. Or a little league baseball team. We are proud to represent Patty Cottrell, John Wilmes, Lesley Dixon, Dan IvecRebecca Elliott, Lori-May Orillo, and others we know and don't know yet. For more on Meekling Press, visit our website, meeklingpress.com

We met over the years 2010 - 2013 while studying at the School of The Art Institute of Chicago. We're falling more in love every day with our current lineup of writers, artists, and friends. We are enamored with and flattered by our existing readership. We cannot stop daydreaming about our future collaborators, conspirators, creators, contributors, composers, and meerkats. Maybe you too are a meekling--you'll never know unless you check.

Projects

Dan Ivec’s Sleeper is the next book we're working on.

Sleeper is a book project we have been working on with Dan for about
six months. Dan is a masterful illustratorwriter, and storyteller.  It has always been a chief interest of Meekling to find the most appropriate form for his singular talents.

In Sleeper, Ivec will be able to execute his full abilities.  The whole show! This project is a curio cabinet of works: a series of Ivec's illustrations, a hand-drawn map, clay objects, a novella, and a number of micro-fictions.  All these will be contained within one box designed by Dan and Rebecca Elliott. We will be making this book whether or not this kickstarter is successful, but if we are able to raise the funds, they will go toward making a larger edition of the book and expanding the content.

We are also working on publishing a book by the one and only Erin Kautza. Please click on that link to see a sample of her work, because it is amazing and strange and truly wonderful. Erin's book is called Muscles Involved, and it's going to take the form of an accordion book with letterpress covers. 

Where the money goes

We've recently found a very special letterpress machine and many drawers of lead type, and we're super excited about the possibilities it will open up for us in our publishing projects. Up to this point, we've been printing on a tiny little tabletop press, but with the new press we'll be able to produce a much higher quality of work, larger print runs, and larger scale prints. We are currently brainstorming poetry broadsides, experimental printing methods, and other works that challenge the boundaries of printed art.

Information and imagery for what we’ve done so far is available here (click on the title of each book to see more details). We’re very happy with what we’ve put out to date, and while it has turned us enough of a profit to sustain our pace of publication, we will need more spending power in order to pursue more interesting ventures yet. It’s as simple as that. 

The press in question is a beautiful antique, and as such requires some modern love. We need to purchase new rollers, as well as various materials (inks, papers, etc.) for the production of our books.  We've already put down a deposit on this incredibly lucky find, but we'll need the support of our readership to run the rest of the mile.

The money raised will also go toward materials for the books outlined above, and the new press will allow us to make these books even more awesome. We think the writing in them deserves a beautiful container.

One more important note!

Every printing press deserves a name & we want to name this one well. Please let us know you think we should name this 120-year-old baby when you donate!

Risks and challenges

The press is fairly rare and it might be a bit of a challenge to find the few missing parts that need to be replaced (nothing obscure -- just the rollers and the chase). We are anticipating some down time to locate these parts and rehabilitate the machine, but it should be up and running in a few months at the outside. We'll be sure to keep our backers updated on our progress with the printing press and with the construction of the books throughout the process.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1 or more About US$ 1.00

    Anyone who donates $1 or more will receive a certificate thanking them for helping us out. Frame it & hang it on your wall! Why not?

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    5 backers
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    Pledge US$ 5 or more About US$ 5

    Limited edition letterpress-printed postcard mailed to you

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    17 backers
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    Pledge US$ 5 or more About US$ 5

    We will make you a "printer's hat" to wear proudly

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 12 or more About US$ 12

    Paperback edition of Dan Ivec's "Sleeper" novella. The covers will be letterpress-printed.

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    8 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 12 or more About US$ 12

    For International Backers:Paperback edition of Dan Ivec's "Sleeper" novella. The covers will be letterpress-printed.

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    2 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 20 or more About US$ 20

    A book by Erin Kautza, "Muscles Involved", hard-bound by hand with letterpress printed covers.

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    Limited 15 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 20 or more About US$ 20

    For International Backers: A book by Erin Kautza, "Muscles Involved", hard-bound by hand with letterpress printed covers.

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    Limited 1 backer
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 30 or more About US$ 30

    Paperback edition of Dan Ivec's "Sleeper" novella. The covers will be letterpress-printed. AND Erin Kautza's book, "Muscles Involved", hard-bound by hand with letterpress printed covers.

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    Pledge US$ 40 or more About US$ 40

    Limited edition broadside designed and printed by Lori-May Orillo and Rebecca Elliott

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    Limited 1 backer
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 40 or more About US$ 40

    For International Backers: Limited edition broadside designed and printed by Lori-May Orillo and Rebecca Elliott

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    Limited 0 backers
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    For International Backers: "Sleeper" by Dan Ivec. This is the super special box edition, which will include the novella, Dan's drawings, a map, and perhaps other things, packaged up in a clam-shell box. (we're planning on an edition of 30)

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    Pledge US$ 400 or more About US$ 400

    Subscription for the next 3 years, and also, we'll invite you to come in to our workshop where we'll help you print a small project on the letterpress. Wouldn't that be fun?

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  13. Reward no longer available

    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    "Sleeper" by Dan Ivec. This is the super special box edition, which will include the novella, Dan's drawings, a map, and perhaps other things, packaged up in a clam-shell box. (we're planning on an edition of 30)

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    Reward no longer available 12 backers
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    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    Subscription for the next 3 years: Get all of Meekling Press's publications for the next three years, starting with Dan Ivec's and Erin Kautza's books. (2014-2017)

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    Reward no longer available 11 backers
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  15. Reward no longer available

    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    For International Backers: Subscription for the next 3 years: Get all of Meekling Press's publications for the next three years, starting with Dan Ivec's and Erin Kautza's books. (2014-2017)

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    Reward no longer available 1 backer
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Funding period

- (45 days)