Yesterday, John and I had the privilege of visiting Alan in his letterpress shop in Frenchtown, NJ. What a day! Alan works in an old chicken barn - a very cool space which, in my opinion, adds to the charm and nature of this traditional printing process. Alan has been printing since he was a boy - and has collected a minagerie of presses & tools - some of which I had never seen before. Like this small press made for young boys just after the turn of the century:
For most of the day, we learned a great deal about Alan and his background in letterpress as well as how many of the presses work. Alan has a wealth of information on this stuff. I highly recommend a visit if you're in the NYC/NJ/PA area and want to learn from a guy with 50-some years of experience - or if you have a machine that needs some tlc or want a book printed, he's your guy. He is clearly very passionate about what he does and loves introducing his passion to people - and is very patient with people like me, who ask all sorts of seemingly obvious questions. I was overwhelmed by all the information running around upstairs, so when 7pm rolled around, I was beat. We ended up leaving our press there until we make it back there again in about a week and a half.
Looking forward to it already!