Life goes on... like an echo in the forest...

L.A. Printers Fair 2011

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2011. 9. 25.











ABOUT: The fair supports the non-profit International Printing Museum and its educational mission and is suitable for all ages. Students, Educators, families, enthusiasts, collectors, typophiles, bibliophiles, graphic designers, artists and professionals will enjoy the varied demonstrations and array of vendors. Children are welcome but need to be accompanied by an adult at all times. Even if you’ve been to the Museum before, you’ll see new vendors and materials at the Fair.



VENDOR REGISTRATION: Come and join the Fair! A complete Vendor Registration packet is located here.





• Letterpress “Swap Meet:” Don’t miss your chance to buy antique letterpress equipment and everything you need for your own print shop. Type-lovers, graphic designers, artists, printers and members of the public are welcome to ogle over hundreds of cases of type and thousands of pounds of equipment and presses.


• General Gallery Tours – experience 500 years of printing history as our knowledgeable docents guide you through our collection. Letterpress demonstrations on various presses will be on-going throughout the day.


• “The 40’s Shop” – Travel back in time to experience a 40’s era working print shop. See Windmills, Ludlows, Linotypes, platen presses, proofing presses, a Miehle Vertical and our vast collection of wood and lead type. See slugs cast on our working Linotype operated by Luis Garcia.


• Additional demonstrations include relief printmaking, silk-screening and papermaking. Come here Peter Thomas perform live “ukulele book arts folk songs” at 11am and 3pm.


• Purchase beautiful letterpress-printed pieces, artist books, gorgeous handmade and commercial paper/envelopes and more from one of our vendors.


• Prints by La Jolla aritst Anne Chapman will be on view in the Book Arts Institute Type Lab.


• Screen-print a tee-shirt with the Night Shift crew for $15.


• Live Music by Willow Bend.



PARKING: Please park across Torrance Blvd. in the K-mart Shopping Center in the truck area and not in front of the store. Use the crosswalk to get to the Museum side. You may also drop off visitors in front of the Museum main entrance.


LOCATION: A map and directions to the Museum can be found here.


ADMISSION: $5 General Admission for everybody, all ages. Cash is recommended though we do take credit cards. Exact change is appreciated. You may also purchase your Fair tickets through PayPal and bring your PRINTED receipt as proof of admission.


DRINKS: Cold drinks and food will be available for sale. You may also bring your own snacks and drinks.


WEATHER: We will hold the Fair rain or shine. Wear comfortable clothing.


PURCHASES: Bring your own tote or reusable bag to store items you may be purchasing or to hold free material.

*If you plan on purchasing presses or other equipment you will need to carry your item to your vehicle. A rolling cart might be advisable. You will need to make individual arrangements with Vendors on the delivery of your press or heavier equipment.

Each vendor will handle all payments either by cash, check, credit card or PayPal.


RAFFLE: Raffle tickets are only $1 to win outstanding items such as rare books, letterpress pieces and more. Contributions are welcome from the public.


VOLUNTEER: Lots of volunteers are needed for this event (Age 18 and up). Credit will be issued for volunteering as applicable to your academic institution or organization. Contact for more information.


FACEBOOK: The Fair is on Facebook, please RSVP here and invite your friends, family and colleagues!


For more information or comments regarding the 2011 Fair, contact the Fair Coordinator Rachelle W. Chuang at











Linotype operator creates a line of type in lead

during the printers fair at the International Printing Museum in Carson.




It's one thing to see the printed word on a piece of paper. But to be able to touch, to feel, even to smell the alphabet opens a world of wonder that few people in the digital world will even remember.

Just ask Pierce Barry. After rolling a swab of sticky ink onto an etched block, he exhaled a giant "wow" as he peeled back the page to reveal a picture of Benjamin Franklin.


And so it was at the Printers Fair on Saturday in Carson, where hundreds of people experienced something they had never seen before: hand-printed stationery, custom-made inks and freshly minted paper that was still wet to the touch.

The event, now in its third year, is held at the International Printing Museum, a place filled with printing presses and other contraptions that were fairly common before computers took over the publishing world.


The event attracted different kinds of people. There were the old guys who worked for years in the printing industry and were happy to show their craft to a younger generation.

And there were the younger folk, who are rediscovering authentic relics that were used to print books since before the Industrial Revolution.


"It's the whole tactile thing," said Rocky Baranowski, who came from Phoenix to attend. "It's something craftsmen can do. It's anti all the fonts and other things you can do on your computer. It's becoming a lost craft."

Maybe not so lost. Artists have fallen in love with the process of printing and are taking up the cause.


"The sky's the limit with what you want to do," said graphic artist Janet Kupchick, who displayed a selection of printed greeting cards.

Phil Soinski calls himself the museum's resident Ben Franklin. He said people come from all over the country to visit the museum, which one attendee called "the gem of Carson."

"The book artists learned about presses, so we got old retired printers to teach them," he said.


Along with presses that looked like medieval torture devices and piles of lead type, there was also papermaking, a craft that Soinski said comes with a master's degree.

For Drew Cameron, making paper is a way to reach out to fellow veterans. Cameron, who served in the Army, shreds and mashes up combat uniforms until they turn into a soggy pulp. He then presses the glop into paper, which he gives back to the veterans to use in any way they want.


Mark Barbour, the museum's founding director, said products like Cameron's will keep the art of printing alive for as long people want words and paper with a personal touch.

"Communication is the second oldest profession," he said. "A new generation is coming to ensure that printing isn't dead."

But there are other issues that can arise when one falls in love with printing: The presses can be huge. Baranowski has been collecting printing presses for 25 years, a fact that his fiancee finds troubling.

"We're trying to get married," he said, "but we can't combine houses."