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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Roger A. Plumb

Thought I'd introduce you to one of my printing mentors, Mr. Plumb--sorry for the blurry pic! He's quite elusive and camera-shy. He's now retired but worked as a pressman pretty much all his life and is the definition of "old-school" printer. He taught me how to run the C&P, the invaluable qualities of tape (yes, the adhesive), the importance of putting things back to where they belong (this is key esp. when dealing with lead type)...just to name a few things :) Every printer has tricks up their sleeve when running a job and I was lucky enough to learn a thing or two from Mr. Plumb who has loads and loads of information and stories to tell.

And his stories...almost always tangential but if you keep following, I swear there's a valuable lesson or punchline at the end. They can sometimes be summed up into one-liners which often make you smile (sometimes in wonder, other times because it's just plain brilliant). I've decided, as a personal project and as a thank you to him that I would immortalize his sayings or "Plumb-isms" by letterpress. So I asked him to write down on a piece of paper as many one-liners he can come up with and so he did!

The first one is actually a re-print of one of my favorites. It was printed on off-cut paper with straight out-of-the can warm red and some indigo ink that was laying around the shop from a previous press run. This is Mr. Plumb's style--never wasteful, always use what's already available. These prints will not be sold, only given away as ephemera for the love of letterpress.

Uppercase Magazine published a  recent issue dedicated to letterpress and I only found it fitting to give them some of these as tribute to Mr. Plumb. It's a wonderful heartfelt publication and I urge you to pick up a copy! They took this great picture of the print and ours even made a cameo in the magazine :) Check out more here.