17 June 2006

a lady who loves tools.

I had this idea to write about tools on fathers day. You know, sappy nostalgic stuff, Dad, the tool box he gave to me before he moved to back to Hungary...
I thought about my tool story for a few days, fathers day passed and then I found myself in the print studio with my friend M.C. getting an in depth tutorial on how to use her Vandercook letterpress. I am having a show this Saturday and I got this idea to print napkins to go with the new dinnerware set that I made. After working with her and hearing her story about the press I realized that I needed to write about her and her journey with the press. Ah ha, this is a great tool story! So sorry Dad, you'll have to wait.

M.C. inherited the press from friend who moved it out to New York from California. The friend who moved it out here from California did not have a place to set it up and stored it in her garage. In the friend's effort to keep the press safe she wrapped the rollers in towels. The climate in the East, is well, moist. The towels got wet and the rollers rusted. The friend ended up donating the press to M.C and her husband for The Studio at Brickhouse Farm (more about this in the future). M.C. took it upon herself to put the press back together and to get the old beast back up and running. With only the knowledge of how to use the Vandercook press as an Artist for printing purposes she set out to repair the machine back to its original glory. She befriended a Vandercook expert who advised her on how to repair its broken parts and scoured the yellow pages and Internet to gather all the missing bits it needed. Eventually she removed all the rust, repaired the damaged parts and put it back together. All by herself! One lady. The most amazing part of the story is that not only did she put it back together and refurbished the parts on her own, she did it all using non toxic materials, vinegar and cooking oil. She cleaned the rust off of rollers with vineger and maintains the health and happiness of the rollers with the oil. We also used the cooking oil to clean the ink off of the rollers. Who knew that the makings for salad dressing are also great for cleaning rust and ink? I think this is super cool. I think SHE is super cool.

I have so much more to say about tools but am going to leave it for a future post. Here is a picture of the press in action printing the napkins for my show.

1 comment:

Mad said...

Nice story. Who knew that about cooking oil??