Donald Kilpatrick
June 2009
A new press aquisition. The Nolan proof press.
A couple of weeks ago while in the midst of printing my postcards, i realized that i was in need of some better supplies for the presses. I frequent Briar, and found Andrew Churchman, the son of letterpress guru Dave Churchman. Andrew sold me a hi-speed quoin (pronounced "coin") key used for locking up type and image for printing on the press. I went over to his place and discovered that he has a great supply of press equipment, and sells refurbished table-top presses that blow most everything else out there available outta the water. Let me know if you are wanting to get a press, i will get you in touch with him.

Anyways, i spotted a proof press in his garage amongst all of the presses, and had to have it. I call it a father's day gift to myself. The beauty of this press lies in it's limitations.This Nolan press was meant for "proofs" of printing samples that prospective clients could check out before anything was sent to press. Many newspapers used them, and now many printmakers use them in shorter runs. It is trickier to register different colors, but a lot more enjoyable for me to use with my kids, and easier for me to use when demonstrating for my students.

This is a print made from a speedball lino block that is almost type-high. All i had to do is pack paper underneath it to raise to type height. I carved this lino-blcok a while back, i will be posting something more recent with this press in the next couple of weeks or so.

Thanks to my trusted assistant who spent good time with his old man on Father's day.

My assistant, ready to RAWK.
the image all locked up, ready to go.
The first print on the press received approval from my assistant.
...and this one not so approving...
...loss of patience....
Orphan Works- back again.
I just received the message below recently, as i am sure many of you have as well. Just when you think somethinglike this is dead, it rears it's ugly head. Keep your eyes on this one, be ready.


Orphan Works: Back Again


In Orphan Works Land, no news has been good news, but that's about to change:
US Copyright Register Marybeth Peters told Intellectual Property Watch that orphan works legislation is expected to be introduced within the next 10 days. It is her understanding there may still be some issues in the House version to be resolved, and there are some stakeholders - such as illustrators and other artists - "who are probably going to lobby pretty hard against it."
Peters said this issue is important to her, and the fact it came so close to passing last year is almost bittersweet. "What I hope it isn't ... is it's one magic moment you get" to finally get it passed, then it doesn't happen, she said.

We don't mean to disparage the Register's comments. She's had a long and distinguished career at the Copyright Office. But her statement deserves a reality check.
Illustrators are not opposed to an orphan works bill. We're opposed to this bill.

We're opposed because its scope far exceeds the needs of responsible orphan works legislation.

Moreover, illustrators and artists are not the only stakeholders who oppose it. At last count, more than 83 creators organizations are on record against it, representing artists, photographers, writers, songwriters, musicians and countless small businesses.

Last year, we proposed amendments to the Orphan Works Act that would have made it a true orphan works bill. The amendments were drafted by the attorney who was chief legal counsel to the House Judiciary Committee in drafting the 1976 Copyright Act. The amendments were co-sponsored by the Artists Rights Society and the Advertising Photographers of America. They can be found here:

On July 11, 2008, we submitted those amendments to both the House and Senate Judiciary Committees. In our preamble we wrote this:

As rights holders, we can summarize our hopes for the Orphan Works Act simply: to see that it becomes a true orphan works bill, with no unnecessary spillover effect to damage the everyday commercial activities of working artists. We'd be happy to work with Congress to accomplish this. No legislation regarding the use of private property should be considered without the active participation of those whose property is at stake.

Last year more than 180,000 letters were sent to lawmakers from our Capwiz site. These letters did not come from obstructionists. They came from citizens whose property is at stake. They may lack the resources of big Internet companies and the access of high powered lobbyists, but last year they spoke. They asked only one thing: that Congress respect their personal property rights and amend this bill to make it nothing more than what its sponsors say they want it to be - a bill that would affect only true orphaned work.

 We urge this Congress to listen.

- Brad Holland and Cynthia Turner for the Board of the Illustrators' Partnership


For news and information, and an archive of these messages:
Illustrators' Partnership Orphan Works Blog:

Over 83 organizations opposed the last Orphan Works bills, representing over half a million creators. Illustrators, photographers, fine artists, songwriters, musicians, and countless licensing firms all believe this bill will harm their small businesses.

If you received our mail as a forwarded message and wish to subscribe to the IPA mailing alerts, click on the link below, "Join Our Mailing List" and follow the simple directions on the webpage.
Please post or forward this message to any interested party.
New piece for the Wall Street Journal
Lat week when i was in the middle of obsessing over my presses, i get the call from the Wall St. Journal to do a piece on Chardonnays. Thanks Dave! As always, it was a pleasure. This ran in Saturday's edition.

I was able to feed my obsession and incorporate some printed texture from the press in the finished piece.

My first Letterpress Postcard
After seven years, three moves, and a few good hearted but botched attempts at printing on my own presses, I am happy to announce that I have successfully printed my first edition of postcards today!

Most of what was holding me back in the past with my press was really the lack of space, and that fact that I hadn’t bolted it to a workbench. In the past each time I pulled the lever to print I was afraid that an eight hundred pound object was going to fall on me.

Here is my first full print run with my “Official Map Press”.  I have another tabletop press that I am in the process of cleaning up and using, and I plan on having two going at once. It is getting addicting! I love how this age old technology retains it’s relevancy, and how my hundred year old press (1906) could be used a hundred years from now.

This is the first of four postcards slated to print this summer and fall. This time I mean it!!!

I will be sending this out in the next few days…maybe I will do another edition with other colors…

I also have some other plans in the works for these presses, and I will post more on that later.

The finished card after two passes through the press.
This first run of cards came to 85 total. I messed up ten of them. Pretty good for a first full run. Very addicting!
The Official "Map" press gets it's nickname from how it was made to have a platen flat instead of at an angle (like other platen presses), and gives it a alot more pressure to make quality prints for a tabletop press. It's flat platen (where the print is placed...) allowed printers of maps a hundred years ago to punch a lot of detail into smaller areas. This press was also a lot more affordable and cost effective for government agencies at the time being that it is a tabletop model and doesn't need to full shop to be housed in.
I have always loved how letterpress leaves a "bunk" in the paper, and how you can feel the impression. These were printed on white museum 2-ply board. 4x6 finished size.
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