A few weeks ago I was invited along with my letterpress to a celebration in the East Bay. The occasion was both an open house for The Weekend Press and the start of their Oakland Illustrated Kickstarter campaign. The campaign is a collaboration between Oakland Illustrators to create unique Oakland inspired art with the added benefit of helping fund the newly christened graphic design and letterpress shop.
It should be noted that as I publish this there are just 4 days left in the campaign. I'm happy to say they've met their goals but partaking in funding the Kickstarter is the best way you can purchase these prints. So check them out!
The prints on display looked great but they are actually only the beginning of the printing process. After seeing how the art was producing the files will be tweaked to produce even better prints. I loved that there was no glass covering the prints. You could really get in and see the details. (Forgive my images and lack of closeups as I only had my phone to shoot with that day).
The Weekend Press is two floors with the upper being the production office. While taking myself on a self guided tour I was happy to find a nice display of all the elements that go into the printing process of the Oakland Illustrated prints.
So why was I there with my letterpress?
A high end letterpress shop uses machinery too loud and dangerous for showing off during soirées. Peter and Jenny wanted to show their guests the basic concepts of letterpress printing along with folks being able to try it out themselves. I have a table top printing press which is far friendlier for the uninitiated. Everything is done by hand. You load each piece of paper and pull the lever to make each print. I helped guests print a souvenir coaster.
When I first walked into the light filled Weekend Press it took me a moment to actually see my press. It was so dwarfed by the size of the other machinery in the shop. To give a little perspective in the image above you can see a third of their Windmill printing press on the right.
And now some gratuitous pics of their presses.