Kevin & Shelby's Second Wedding Anniversary Adventure

Narrative by Kevin
(Click on any of the pictures to get a larger version of that image.)

Saturday: Letterpress Class at the San Francisco Center for the Book

To celebrate our second wedding anniversary, we elected to go north for a weekend in San Francisco. We spent all day Saturday (9 AM to 6 PM) taking an introductory course in letterpress printing at the San Francisco Center for the Book.
Each of us took our first stab at typesetting by setting our own name in a "job stick".
After that, Mary Laird, our instructor, led the six of us in deciding on a theme for the chapbook we'd collaboratively produce.  People threw out topics -- "Music!"  -- "Beagles!" (guess who) -- "Cold Weather!" -- a list was made, and a vote was held. Through this process, we decided our theme was music, the title of our book was Canticle, and that the name of our press would be the "O. Press".

Next, we split into pairs and divided the work. Shelby and I decided that we'd be responsible for producing the title page and "half title" (the page before the title page). Another pair set to work on the cover; the last pair started assembling the colophon. In addition to our pair's particular responsibility, each person had to contribute a couple of lines to our book's lone page of text.

The pair working on the cover page got to assemble their work directly on the bed of the press.
The cover, ready to print.  Each item in the pressbed has to be tensioned just right -- tight enough so that nothing moves around, not so tight that any pieces fly out due to pressure.
Those of us not working on the cover composed our work back at the table.
Some finished product, ready to go:
The title page.
Our lines for the text page.  (We pooled our couplets together, and Mary asked us to compose an extra line for her.) Note that each person's couplet didn't have to co-ordinate with the others in any way, beyond having some connection to our chosen theme of "music".
In the middle of all this compositing, Mary inked the press (a mighty Vandercook 4) adjusted the rollers, and we started to take our turns at printing.
There were other jobs besides running the press: each of us got to pull freshly printed sheets from the press and stack them up (interleaving blank sheets between so that things wouldn't smear). I got to number each of our (no doubt valuable in the future) limited-edition works after Shelby attested that I had neat handwriting.

Sunday: The Charles M. Schulz Museum

The next day, we drove up to Santa Rosa to visit the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center. Shelby and I are both Peanuts fans, so this is a visit we'd been meaning to make for a while; starting out in San Francisco made it a more realistic goal for the day. It was really interesting; they had a gallery of original strips, a rotating gallery that was showing Tom Everhart paintings, and historical displays and Peanuts ephemera upstairs (including Schulz's studio, brought over and reassembled piece by piece after the died).

There aren't too many pictures, since photography is prohibited, with the exception of the lobby and outdoor areas — if you want to see what's inside, here's a photo gallery from someone who had permission to shoot in the museum.

After getting out of the museum, I noticed that my rear tire seemed a little low; it didn't take long to figure out that this had something to do with the giant screwhead protruding from it. Fortunately, there was a tire shop within panicked-driving distance. Thanks to the screw, we ended up spending an hour at the Snoopy Gift Shop next door. Maybe the gift shop's business plan includes regular distributions of pointy things through the museum parking lot ...

Go back to: Shelby's This page last updated on Wednesday, December 03, 2003