Not too much of pictorial interest going on here lately. I've been getting organized, figuring out storage and sorting type. Not the most sexy work of the letterpress printer, but certainly necessary when you consider that our medium is a million tiny pieces of metal. I opened a shoebox last night expecting to find some quoins, and also found 40 tiny strips of paper (why? where did they come from?) and most embarrassingly, a bunch of pied type from my first attempt at a business card and from Glendon's birthday invitation. I'm so mortified! I can't believe I didn't redistribute that type. Now in my defense, most of the type I used for those projects doesn't actually have a drawer or spot where it belongs, but I at least could have put them in my sorting tray.
As I've mentioned before, my press came with a bunch of random type, some in cases, some in cigar boxes. I've sorted some of it, and cleaned some with the special Dave Churchman mixture of baby shampoo, borax and warm water, but there's a lot left to sort, and it's not the most fun work. However, I've now run out of empty cases, so it's time to get back to it. Right now I'm emptying a case onto a sorting tray that John Barrett has loaned me. I'm trying to clean the type with just a rag because using the borax mixture is a pain in the ass that involves going up on the roof, cleaning the type with a toothbrush and dipping it in kerosene. Some of it will still need that treatment due to evil mice who used certain compartments as toilets. Anyway, so far I've found 5 different typefaces in this one case. Most of the type seems to be one of two typefaces, but there are pieces of other random faces here or there as well. I have no idea whether there will be more of these faces in other trays, I have no idea what fonts any of these are or how complete my holdings are, and I still have no idea where I'm going to put all these incomplete fonts. I only have a limited number of cases and a limited amount of space.
This is one of my cases - you can see the many different sizes of type AND the mouse crap!
This is my borrowed sorting tray. It currently has at least 10 different typefaces - some with just one piece - some with two rows.
Right now, I'm just trying to see what's here and put everything together in one place. I think that figuring out what everything is and where it might go will be the second step. Organization and clean up are definitely areas where I need to be more vigilant. Being a librarian, you would think this would come easily, but no. I'm one of those librarians whose life and surroundings are pretty chaotic, so I enjoy being all organized in my specialized area at work. Unfortunately it doesn't carry over to the rest of my life. Hell, if you ask my coworkers, they'd probably tell you that it doesn't carry over to my desk at the office. While we're breaking librarian stereotypes, I'm also one of those librarians that has a $5 to $27 fine at every library in the area. right now, I'm not even allowed to use the Brooklyn or Queens libraries. This always seems to surprise non-library people, but I'm going to assume that many librarians have that same problem. I just don't know any of them.