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Help build a mobile studio to teach people about letterpress printing and make inky impressions all over New York City!
Help build a mobile studio to teach people about letterpress printing and make inky impressions all over New York City!
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91 backers pledged $2,748 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

Press Cycle Project | Letterpress on Three Wheels project video thumbnail
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$2,748

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Hi there! I’m Erin Fae and I love all things related to print and cities. I need your help to build and run a portable letterpress print studio in New York City.

I want to build a mini studio that that takes letterpress printing outside and into different communities, which is why I am running this Kickstarter.

I have a small printing press (an Adana 3 x 5--Here's a bit of history on Adana printing machines):

Our hero, the Adana 3 x 5!
Our hero, the Adana 3 x 5!

and I’ve found the perfect tricycle:

Classic Schwinn Town & Country Adult Tricycle
Classic Schwinn Town & Country Adult Tricycle

and some very nice people who are going to build an enclosure and surface for the studio (Nightwood, who create remarkable furniture out of reclaimed wood):

Nightwood of Brooklyn
Nightwood of Brooklyn

and now I invite you, the community of people who believe in crazy urban art schemes, to help make this happen.

How will it work?

At least once a fortnight, I’ll wheel the studio—comprised of the press, the tricycle, miscellaneous letterpress equipment and a wooden box that both holds the press and acts as a surface for printing—to a public place in New York City and teach people how to print. Anyone who comes across the press can try it out and take home a print for free.

This project will hopefully run from the Summer Solstice through the Autumnal Equinox—a full season of open air, open road, open arms and inky fingers.

I love teaching people about print. For me, there are few things as wonderful as seeing someone print for the first time and discover what a little ink, paper and person-power can create. People have often heard of painting or sculpture and have a general idea of how those art forms work. However, printmaking and letterpress are often limited to those who choose to learn about it. Many people have never even seen a printing press. I want to change this. I want to introduce as many people as possible to printing and give folks a chance to try it out

This project aims to activate public spaces with more art and get people thinking about the way things work. The Press Cycle has a Twitter account (@PressCycle) so people can follow along and know where the press is going to be. Plus: Printing is so much fun and I hope this project can bring extra joy into people’s lives this summer!

This is a project about print and community, and I can't do it alone. For me, DIY doesn't mean doing it all by yourself, but reaching out to a wider community so that everyone can help each other make magic. I’m so excited to run a Kickstarter so Press Cycle is not solely limited to New Yorkers, but so people from all over can take part and we can make this happen together.

Thank you so much for the support. I hope to send you notes from the sidewalks and parks of NYC very soon.

Where will the money go?

The funds from this Kickstarter campaign will be used to:

  • Purchase that sweet blue tricycle, get it tuned up and road ready
  • Buy a lock to keep the Press Cycle safe
  • Get the press in ship-shape, including buying new rollers 
  • Order custom magnesium dies to make prints
  • Ink and paper. How can we make fabulous prints without these two crucial elements?
  • Pay Nightwood and other artists whose hard work is making this project a reality
  • Shipping and packaging your reward goodies
  • Amazon and Kickstarter fees

Stretch Goals

One thing that I didn't fully consider was where the Press Cycle will live when we're not on the streets helping people make prints. Since we reached $2,500, I can rent a space to safely and easily store the Press Cycle. 

Our second stretch goal is especially colorful. Since we reached $2700, I can buy more cans of ink. This means more prints in more colors.

Thanks to the awesome tricycle print gang (you!), we reached these goals! Thank you.

Thank You Rewards

We’ll be making great little prints on the streets of NYC and I want to post you some to thank you for your support. Some of my very talented artist friends (like Sarah McNeil and Julie Schneider) are collaborating on this project by creating images for us to print, and you’ll get some of their great work in the mail. I’m also designing some buttons just for Kickstarter backers. I’ll be sharing the image of those buttons soon.

If you’re throwing a party, we can create a custom block for you and your guests to print at your event. I’m also designing and printing a commemorative mini-poster and I hope you’ll hang it on your wall to remember this fabulous summer of print.

Gratitude

Thanks and love to Aimee P. for helping film the video, Sarah McNeil for drawing the awesome cover image, Jessica White and Julie Schneider for brainstorming words and names, @rmi for last minute feedback, the amazing folks at Kickstarter and most of all, you. 

Thank you for reading this, backing this project and telling your pals about it. See you on the streets of NYC! 

Risks and challenges

I'm just one person working on this. There's the chance that something could happen to me or the equipment, but I'm pretty careful out there. If something bad happens, I'm confident I will be able to fix it.

At this stage, I'm collaborating with some other artists and artisans to pull the Press Cycle Project together. They could get stalled or something could happen to them to slow down the process, but I believe it will work out.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $2 or more About $2.00

    Every little bit helps, so I will e-mail you a virtual high five! Thanks for helping make this project a reality.

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Distributing Digital Ink: virtual high five and two desktop wallpapers, designed exclusively for Kickstarter backers.

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    4 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Set us in motion: you'll get a random mini-print from the road, printed freshly on the streets of NYC, along with the digital rewards

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Be part of the team: get two exclusive buttons, the digital rewards and a random print from the project

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Rolling in the Bike Lane: You're printing all over NYC and so will get a subscription which includes 5 different prints made on the streets, digital rewards & two 1" buttons.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    Random acts of print: Want to surprise your pals? Select 5 friends to get a print in the post. +Plus+ I'll send *you* a print from the road, the digital rewards & two 1" buttons.

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    {EARLY BIRD SPECIAL} A tricycle built for 8 million: a print subscription, two exclusive buttons and a yet-to-be-designed larger print commemorating the project. It will be lovely!

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    Reward no longer available 20 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    A tricycle built for 8 million: a print subscription, two exclusive buttons and a yet-to-be-designed larger print commemorating the project. It will be lovely!

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    7 backers
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    Pledge $95 or more About $95

    On the Road Maintenance: this is the reward level for people who want to help out *a little bit more.* You think this project is awesome and want to help make sure it happens. You'll get a print subscription, buttons, a lovely large print and a few extra surprise goodies to say thanks.

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    Forget the photobooth! Bring a printing press to your next NYC party. We'll design a a custom print together just for your event and your guests can make up to 150 special prints on the day.

    ~~Please message me with your proposed date before pledging at this amount. I want to make sure it will work and to set the date aside~~

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Funding period

- (22 days)