29 August 2013

Changes in the pressroom

Incoming pressman Adam Steeves and outgoing pressman Matt MacLean

Gaspereau Press said goodbye to its main offset press operator Matt MacLean this week. Recently returned from a honeymoon trip to Mexico, Matt is leaving Gaspereau Press to attend a machinist’s program at the local community college. I guess all those days spent maintaining and running our old Heidelberg KORD presses and sweet-talking them into printing evenly-inked sheets convinced him that he liked working with machines. Matt came to us fresh out of high school with no previous printing experience, but his curiosity, work ethic and mechanical aptitude quickly saw him develop into one of the best press operators the company has ever had the pleasure of employing. We’ll miss Matt, but I’m hoping we’ll see him back to volunteer at this year’s wayzgoose.

Filling his considerable shoes is Adam Steeves. Adam’s ambition is to compete as a boardercross athlete at a national level, and his father (me) decided that he’d better learn a trade and earn some money as he strives after that admirable goal. He’s been working with Matt for a few months now and has proven himself to be a quick study and a careful workman. He’s the third offspring of the Dunfield and Steeves clans to spend some time operating a press in our establishment, though the first one to do so full-time. Nic Dunfield has been known to tend a Heidelberg once in a while when we have a big flyer job (he is now studying to be a chief). And Joseph Steeves has been working as a devil in the letterpress shop for a while now and is becoming a deft hand at dissing type and cranking Vandercooks.

Anyway, good luck to both Matt and Adam with their exciting new ventures.

As we start into fall, our new books are taking physical form. Here is a short video clip of the jacket for David Zieroth’s new book being printed letterpress on my big Vandercook 219. The paper, made by David and crew at Saint Armand, had a fleck of flax or something in it that looked wonderful but flaked off something awful as I handled the paper, getting into my ink. You’ll see me brushing each sheet as I feed them into the press to keep this intrusion to a minimum. I’ll post pictures of the finished cover once I have the second colour printed.


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