We spent Monday driving to Pittsburgh and back. To pick up a letterpress.
Evan had been searching all over the internet for one, his interest mostly academic. He bemoaned their sudden steep rise in popularity, which had more than tripled their standard asking price over the past few years. He browsed and inquired and researched. And then, last Saturday, he accidentally purchased one.
He confronted me with the news when he picked me up from work on Saturday night. He'd made a low bid on a 5 x 8" press of decent quality on eBay, and had been shocked to receive the email notifying him that he had won. It needed some cleaning, some new springs, and the rollers needed to be recoated, but otherwise is was in good condition. We just had to drive to Pittsburgh to pick it up (that, or pay to ship a 126-pound press. Driving was much cheaper).
This thing is amazing. We drove nearly ten hours straight (roundtrip) to pick it up. Everything West of the Appalachians was encompassed in a blizzard both ways, so that when we returned home our car was caked and streaked in salt. But we made it, picking up the press from a quiet Pennsylvanian man in his Ford pickup, who waited patiently for us in the snow.
Now it sits behind me. We haven't gotten down to cleaning it yet, we have a lot of lemon juice and vinegar to acquire for that. But it will come. And we have our own press.
Books, bookplates, business cards... One of the first projects I plan to tackle is to finally design and print my own deck of cards, something I've been meaning to do for years now. Expect updates on press process, as well as art updates of my progress. I've been lax in uploading art here lately, I know. I do most of my internet-ing on my Eee PC now, and most of my art-ing on my Mac--meaning that I need to get considerably less lazy to get things up here.
My DeviantArt account has been getting rather more love.