If you can guess the association, it is the image that lingers from Confessions. Whether deserved or not, there is a feeling that attaches itself to poor outcomes, but if it prompts me to rebuild momentum, all the better.
The Bowler Press now has a new home, and it is a more comfortable space, about 200 square feet, which is more than I have ever had before. What I am most grateful for, is to have a place to work again.
About the time the funds arrived from our Austen campaign, I was faced with the need to move operations. I had anticipated moving across town to take up space with Olde English Bindery, indeed I began to shift everything in the after hours. The plan required Beryl to be dismantled into her major component parts, in order to move her up a narrow stairway to the 2nd floor. Try as I did, she wouldn't give up her flywheel, which made the stairs impossible, and far too hazardous. A remote chance to use a knuckle-boom crane was explored, but the mezzanine landing had no structural support for placing a thousand pounds of cast iron. I conceded and sought new digs.
Meanwhile, 6000plus sheets of Zerkall paper for the Austen project arrived from the most helpful folks at John Purcell Paper in the UK. Typefounders, Michael & Winifred Bixler, were occupied with casting the first two signatures of P&P vol.1.
By heavenly blessing, I found a space in the midst of textile artists and photographers. Consistently warm, freight elevators, 24hr access, a manageable rent, and room enough that everything could have a place, even the as-yet-unnamed Challenge-style paper cutter (I'm thinking Bernice, after my Welsh great aunt) that I have been carting around with me for a decade, unused.
So, I moved, again. The type arrived. Alanna and I ogled it for awhile. I busied myself with rebuilding equipment and a print studio. Of course, other things were also going on.
With the advent of the summer came my wife's return to work and the full impact of daycare, both its costs and management, dealt a blow to my naive expectations. While the press home was in flux, I'd been serving in the bookbinding trenches, and continue to do so, to ensure a steady supply of goldfish crackers for my two girls. By the time I had hit the end of 2012, my own fatigue level was at the point where I was strongly considering putting all my typographic accoutrements into the cupboard, work off the commitments and materials, and ink my fingers after both of my children enter school.
Fortunately, I am only sometimes prone to these darker moods. I feel a little renewed, and not just because it's Lent. It's easier when the darkness has passed; easier when the air is just a little warmer and the bulbs push up; easier when I begin to hear that clink and roll and the rip of the ink.
Modest and Pride and Prejudice ephemera are my immediate to-do's. And so we begin to edge our way to completion.