Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Shantyquarian in print!

We had an amazing first weekend! We printed three issues of The Shantyquarian--one per day--and gave away over 600 copies of our paper. We lived in our workshop on the ice for almost 36 hours, enjoying the light and warmth and the company of friends, family, artists and engaged visitors. A major success! Our volunteers were amazing and we were all pretty much delirious.

If you visited the Letterpress Shanty, we want you to know that we loved meeting you and talking with you. We're looking forward to the next three weekends.

We're thankful for all the great submissions we've had so far (and they keep on coming), and we'd like to especially thank our early adopters on Twitter for setting us up with so much great content right out of the gate.

All of the shanties and performances are amazing this year (as we've come to expect) and we enjoyed walking out our front door into a carnival of visual art, music, and performances--a cornucopia of the unexpected.

Here are some photos, highlighting what we did in the Letterpress Shanty these first three days.

MC teaches our Day 1 morning volunteers how to set type. We have great light throughout the day.
Most of our content comes from Twitter, and many visitors and shanty artists use our paper forms, but we also publish a few messages in a bottle, written by patrons of The Shanty of Wonder, and submerged in the lake below the ice before they are collected and given to us at the end of the day. It's OK if none of this makes sense to you.
Each submission is hand set in metal type and placed into the bed of our press.
We couldn't do it without our amazing volunteers. And our enthusiastic visitors. Who is that dude?
Having set all our type, it's time for an editorial meeting. It's good to have experienced book artists and printers up in this shanty.
MC and Regula review the proof copy.
Our second issue is laid out and ready for print. "Oh no! It's backwards," hundreds of people joke every day.
Jon pulls prints and discusses our publishing concept and the letterpress process with visitors. Our first run is printed on carbonless paper. We have hundreds of people walking through each day and ink takes hours to dry. So we're basically handing out the part of the checkbook that you never bother to use to balance your accounts.
We also have a tabletop Platen press on which visitors can pull their own prints.
These two young printers teamed up to pull the lever and make postcards. Our shanty is just like Upton Sinclair's, The Jungle.
Jill Waterhouse of The Postal Shanty (sadly, not on the ice this year) models a postcard she printed on our Platen press.

At the end of the day we print with ink and set these copies aside for visitors in the morning. Sara hand-inks the press.
MC pulls a copy of our morning edition while Jon prepares to eat a small child.
Jeff posts The Shantyquarian in the middle of Shantytown. The Department of Everything Else and Capitol Hill shanties can be seen in the background. What does Capitol Hill Shanty look like to you?

Team members and volunteers distribute the paper to other shanties and visitors, and read aloud from the paper in the tradition of the town crier. One of our volunteers told us her grandfather was a town-crier in the Swiss Alps!  The beautifully designed Sit and Spin Shanty is featured in the background.
MC reads The Shantyquarian aloud at the Shantytown meeting, run by The Department of Everything Else.
After Art Shanty Projects closes, we print our deluxe edition by headlamp and candle light, because we are crazy. 
Follow @shantyquarian on Twitter. Tag your tweets with #shantyQ to get published on an old-fashioned press on the ice.

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