Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Press A Card II

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of meeting with Press A Card for an informal interview. Khun Nirut, owner, designer, and printer of Press A Card gave me the tour.

Trained as a Graphic Designer at Pratt, Nirut has worked for various design firms, including CNN. Alongside his work at Press A Card, Nirut teaches visual communication at Rangsit University in Bangkok. His wife, Khun Aum, is the managing director.

Press A Card is located off of Sukhumvit Soi 71. The building has two letterpress shops side by side; one belongs to his aunt's family, the second to his family. The family businesses continue to print receipt paper, invoices, and business cards; which is the largest market for letterpress printing in Thailand.
The Thai built press that started the shop is seated on the right. The press seated on the left is a Chinese model.

Nirut's family shop as seen from the 2nd floor

Left over jobs in movable type. Nirut jokes that each shelf is a computer folder containing various jobs for a business.

Like many people who grew up in family printshops, Nirut learned about movable type from redistributing spacing material before moving on to letter forms. After studying and working in the States, Nirut now turns to the press operators in his family's shops to learn how to use the machinery. Some of these men have been employed here for 20 years or more. 
Along with Thai type, there is also some Chinese type.
An employee of his aunt's business readies the Heidelberg.

The original cases from Charoen Aksorn Type foundry.

Two Thai founderies were RAS and Charoen Aksorn Type Foundry. Both of these foundries have since closed.

Most of the plates that are currently used zinc plates. There are several family run shops in Bangkok and around Thailand that produce these plates.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Current Locations : Bangkok Studio

I am working hard on my Press redesign, a variety of greeting cards, as well as several fine art projects. I cannot believe 5 months have come and gone in Bangkok already! I thought I would share with you an overview of my studio here. It has been working out quite nicely, actually. I am constantly amazed at how productive I can be once things are in their right place.

Tomorrow's task is to score and fold the Buddha cards and prepare for the next round of prints. Get ready!

Also, if you will notice outside the window, on the balcony, is Nick blissfully napping on our 9'x9' slice of something nice!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Press A Card

Today I took a little trip over to see the Press A Card letterpress shop. I met Khun Nirut, designer and founder of Press A Card. He has graciously agreed to have an interview with me in the near future, so stay tuned for that!

In the meantime, here's a few Thai Letterpress teasers .

There are still quite a few letterpress shops around Thailand, however, they are mostly producing invoice pages and things of that nature. The Thai foundry producing Thai letters has permanently closed its doors, so a lot of the work Press A Card makes uses custom made plates. They do, however, have some Thai faces in lead.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Friday was another multi-package day from the Post, along with the the work I got back from the framers. The lot included 3 pieces from the always delightful Sami Foust which I am so very pleased to hang in our bedroom. You can find prints for your wall on her Etsy page.

The back-issues of Hand Papermaking Magazine came, and I am excited to delve into each one for the specific articles (mainly about Southeast Asia papermakers) that I was looking for as well as the plentiful other tidbits.

I also ordered a brass bedplate for my Poco no.0 proof press and bearers to keep my inking as even as possible. Thanks to the suggestion on Preston Briggs' blog, I ordered 6 lengths of brass bar stock to sit on top of 4 pica furniture (laying on its side) which will keep my brayer evenly hitting the blocks & the polymer plate that I will be printing in the coming weeks!

Here is a before shot of my press bed:

And an after shot with my new brass bed plate. Look at her shine!

I also received the photo polymer plate I had ordered for a collaborative artist's book I am working on with 28 other wonderful Twin Cities area women artists, called "Lunation: 28 Days of Darkness to Light".  The block on the press in the shot above is the 3rd layer from this print. More on the progress of those prints soon!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Thailand Cards are Out Now!

These little beauties are ready to leave my studio and fly out to mailboxes everywhere! You can find these greeting cards on my Etsy. And a sneak peak of some new blocks that are on their way...

Building a Studio

I knew it would take a lot of hard work to get my studio up and running in Bangkok, but with my never-ending optimism and can-do attitude, I severely underestimated this undertaking.
Luckily, this is 2013. With the internet and an APO address, I can order almost anything. (I would like to emphasize that again. Almost anything.) Nick's co-workers have started to take notice that we are experiencing a perpetual Christmas season here at Current Location Studio, and even so kindly bring packages home from the office when Nick is off traveling for work for several days.

This is one particularly delightful day's bounty ...
Also please note the personal correspondence from two delightful friends of mine (who are also artists, and you should check out their websites here: Anathea Alberta & Sami Foust).

If you, too, would like to be honest-to-goodness snail-mail pen pals with me, please send me an email and I will be happy to include my address.

(And thank you to the many other friends & artist friends who are participating in snail-mail pen pal exchanges with me currently, but are not shown here. Shameless plug for their work: Linda Dobosenski & Jane Backes Gleissner).

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Camera Has Arrived!

After more time that I would like to admit trying to give my money to Best Buy to purchase a new digital camera, it has finally arrived safely in Bangkok. Many thanks to my mother who picked up the camera for me and repacked it with some other goodies and sent it on its merry way to my door.

I finally decided on the Olympus PEN lite E-PL5 and so far am loving it. I am excited to return to using Olympus. I have a soft spot for this brand since the first 'real' camera I ever used was my father's Olympus OM-1 and I loved it dearly.

With luck, the imagery to accompany this blog will improve from here on out!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Wood Street & Repairing the Flat File

We ventured to place called "Wood Street" to look for lumber and other building supplies to fix my flat file, which had one of it's upright sides torn off during the move. This is the main archway at the head of the street.

This is our living room / dining room, where Nick has set up shop to fix the flat file. This area will hence forth be known as a hazard area. Hard hats and protective eye wear must be worn at all times.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Unpacking Day!

Yesterday, Nick's freight shipment arrived, and this morning mine was unloaded. While my wooden flat file was the major casualty of the voyage, my beloved Poco no. 0 proof press made it safe and sound.
I saved the best for last and carefully opened the massive wooden crate Nick's father, Bob, built for the press. Seeing that the press has made it half way around the world with no problems is the greatest gift!

Monday, April 29, 2013


Before I closed on my house in Minneapolis in 2009, I drew endless layouts to fill the time between the inspection and my closing date (which kept getting pushed back). In true form, I have been measuring and drawing up plans for how my studio here in Bangkok might look once our long-awaited shipments finally arrive.
Here's what I have so far ...

Friday, April 26, 2013

Inks Have Arrived

After much delay, my supply of printmaking inks have arrived safely from Minneapolis. These could not go in the shipment that was sent due to their flammable nature.
Now all I need is my printing press, studio supplies, and mineral spirits!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Two Moves

I am preparing for the four flights Owl-Kitten and I have today (and into tomorrow) to move from my beloved home in Minneapolis, Minnesota to Bangkok, Thailand. This will be a great new adventure, but also comes with a tinge of sadness as I sell my house, leave a place, jobs, and people I adore.

It is fitting that while I am packed and headed to O'Hare airport, my friends at Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum are packed and moving to their new location at 1816 10th Street in Two Rivers, Wisconsin on this very same day. While their move might not be far geographically, it is a huge step out of the original factory; where Hamilton started in 1880 and the museum has called home for the past thirteen years.

I was fortunate enough to fit in a short weekend trip to Two Rivers one last time to say farewell to Jim Moran (Museum Director), Stephanie Carpenter (Assistant Director), as well as a delightful crew of volunteers. This is a monumental move, and it is still in need of your help. If you can spare a few bucks, please consider donating it to fund the cost of moving to and purchasing the new building.