Sunday, August 23, 2009

pure bliss at the int'l printing museum (carson, ca)

My husband turned our Saturday morning into pure bliss when he prompted me to get ready 'cause we were about to embark on the much-anticipated journey to the magnificent International Printing Museum. I've always been fascinated by printing, let alone the beautiful techniques of letterpress, embossing, and foiling. And at b&w, we offer all of these options for couture, custom wedding invitations and paper goods. I will post our most recent letterpress invitation project we created, but first take a sneak peek into what I got to drool over Saturday morning.

Above: Ernie Lindner, the savvy collector who found an admiration for vintage printers -- thank you, Ernie for falling upon these gems and taking care of them!

If you watched 7 Pounds, the presses in the movie were actually borrowed from the International Printing Museum in Carson. Below is a beautiful, restored and working Heidelberg windmill platen press that was used back in the 1960s. This type of machine is responsible for creating the gorgeous couture letterpress wedding invitations and stationery we see today. It's no wonder why letterpress comes with a premium -- not only is the end result beyond amazing, but printing on a vintage machine takes much more than simply pushing a button; it has truly become an art form.

Above: one of the Original Heidelberg windmill letterpress machines (shown in 7 Pounds); it still works!

Above: an operator showing us how the machine works

Above: a Chandler & Price platen press

Here are more pictures of some of the wonderful pieces the museum has inside. These only show a snapshot of what they actually have altogether. I want to save some for you to see for yourself one day. With a small $8 donation to the museum, you get a fully guided tour with one of their staff members, and you walk away with a handful of printing history and appreciation. Learn about the famed Johannes Gutenberg and how important this man was in our history -- and I mean important. And they also have classes where you can learn the art of letterpress, book binding, printing, and much more. Check out:

Above: a press that printed 800-1,000 sheets per hour -- this was considered fast since most of the printers at the time had only printed about 100 sheets per hour.

Above: lines of type; old way of laying out text to print in a book or newspaper

Above: a linotype machine

Above: (L) the museum guide showing us how Gutenberg made blocks of type with a mold he also created; (R) showing a block of Chinese characters carved into wood for printing

Above: this is what he made out of the mold! -- letter "m" -- thanks to the works of Johannes Gutenberg

Above: an old school typewriter

Above: blocks of type

1 comment:

  1. So glad you and your husband had a chance to visit the Museum and the Fair was so much fun!