Some of you know I used to be a printer. A letterpress printer. A teacher. A director.
I gave these things up with the arrival of my first child, the onset of some health problems, and a husband with a stressful, travel-filled career. And I'm grateful I was able to choose a life at home, at least for now. As Jacqueline Kennedy said, "If you bungle raising your children, I don't think whatever else you do well matters very much."
But, once upon a time, I was a printer. I worked with printers. I worked with famous writers. I made beautiful things. And along the way I met other printers.
One of them stands out as an exceptional printer. His name is Terry Chouinard. Heck, he's printed famous poets and my children's birth announcements. And now he's got an idea, a great idea to make a tool for printers.
Why might you care about this? Well, if you've ever had anything printed letterpress, you know it's a labor of love, with hours of work and care behind it. If you've ever wanted your wedding invitation or baby announcement printed in a multiple-color design, maybe you know that each color requires a separate pass through the press. And if you've ever thought about making a letterpress book, you might know that printers need to mix lots of ink, of a consistent color, to use for an entire project. Kind of like buying your yarn from the same dye lot so you don't have an unexpected shift in color in that sweater you are knitting.
So Terry has designed a tool, called the Ink Dial, to measure ink precisely, so that you get consistent results each time. As someone who used to mix endless puddles of ink, in colors that just weren't quite right, I know how useful such a tool would be! Precision is the key!
In order to take this tool from the idea stage to the manufacturing phase, he's looking for support. If you are interested in backing this project, the details are on his site at Kickstarter. In return, Terry is offering some beautiful pieces of art, like the Alan Blackman piece pictured below. It's one of 15 signed, limited edition, poster-size letterpress prints by 15 nationally-known artists that will be available if the project gets funded.
The Lord's Prayer. Calligraphy by Alan Blackman. It will be letterpress printed in 16 colors.
And you know why else I'm supporting the project? Look for the two adorable children working on the presses in this video. I want them to know I believe in their dad's great idea. Part of raising children well is to share your dreams and follow through on making them happen.