Given that we’re into the cold months, the press bike hasn’t had much opportunity to get out and about. So when we found out about the Hamilton Wood Type and Print Museum’s need to move from its current location, we jumped on board to co-sponsor a Chicago event to raise much needed funds. The majority of wood type in the Starshaped collection was produced at Hamilton over the last 100+ years, and it’s important to us that the museum survives.
To gear up for a benefit print sale held December 15th, I put the call out to letterpress printers to create a new piece specifically for the the day. Those who could not participate sent wonderful prints, posters, books and cards they had in stock to help out. We retrofitted the little Sigwalt onto a new base so that we could easily carry it the the Book & Paper Arts Center (our lovely Madsen wasn’t about to go up two flights of stairs), and Jo could do press demos and print stickers for the crowd.
Yes, we love Hamilton! These stickers were a hit and Jo collected lots of money in her tube. Here she is standing in front of the new work, waiting for the crowds to arrive.
Over the course of 7 hours, the Chicago benefit raised over $8000 and blew a matching grant out of the water. It was very satisfying for April and Jo to count up the loot at the end of the night.
We’ll be driving up to Hamilton again in February to help with their upcoming move. Lend a hand if you can, and we’ll keep setting up great prints with fabulous wood type!
It always takes a bit of time to recover from the Renegade Craft Fair before switching right into holiday mode, hence the delay in posting. This year’s fair was a stunning success and the Press Bike was a phenomenal hit with kids of all ages. We had a great corner spot in which to park the bike, and it attracted a crowd all day.
Here’s our booth from the weekend:
Jo got things rolling as soon as the crowds wandered in, and even got Instagrammed by the Renegade crew. It is apparently way cooler to sit on the side of the bike than inside of it.
Recognize this little cutie? She’s a master screenprinter selling her wares at Renegade, too. She stopped by to try her hand at a different printmaking medium. She’s a part of this team.
Here’s a group of happy printers!
Day two brought even more folks, and Jo had to take a break for a while to hang with all of her friends and check out the different neighborhood playgrounds. She was in long enough to generate interest before social calls pulled her away.
We finished out Sunday with two of our largest printers of the day… a bit too big to climb into the bike! The only thing we didn’t manage to do was get a shot of the sticker everyone printed, as we went through so many so fast. It said I (heart) Renegade and was super popular. Maybe you’ll see some popping up here and there around the city…
Until next time!
The Press Bike will be at the Renegade Craft Fair this weekend, September 8th and 9th. Starshaped has been a part of Renegade for the last few years, and we’re thrilled to have the Bike this time around. We’ll be in a lovely corner booth selling posters and cards, and Jo will be showing kids how to print. Just finished this killer sign, so look for us this weekend and bring the kids!
This post is a bit belated, but we spent a very warm afternoon at one of the best shops in Chicago back in July. Sacred Art is such a lovely little store in the Lincoln Square neighborhood; Sarah and Lisa have put together such a wonderful collection of local art, design and well made items, that it’s easy to spend a great deal of time looking around.
We were invited to bring the Press Bike by to print little cards to hand out to passersby. Parking in front of the store, Jo made lots of little Chicago cards and showed a few curious kids how to print their own.
Then we headed over to Chicago Printmakers Collaborative to visit with our friends, especially Megan, one of the fabulous Starshaped Press interns. She’s on her way to an artist residency in Idaho, and will be greatly missed by both of us!
Saturday was the monthly Kidical Mass ride in Welles Park, Chicago, a kid-friendly version of a Critical Mass ride. Instead of taking over the streets of the Loop, we had an enjoyable jaunt through Lincoln Square and North Center. And while Jo isn’t big enough to ‘drive’ the Press Bike, she sure enjoys pretending to do so while other kids get the chance to print.
Of course we needed a bike-themed print for the day, and here’s what we came up with:
Needless to say, the press was popular, and many Bikes Are The Coolest stickers were printed.
Here’s a shot of one stop, waiting for the lights to change. There was a great variety of bikes and ages!
This may very well be our new shop manager… oh the entrepreneurial spirit!
We stopped by the North Center Farmers Market for a breather, and to pick up some fresh produce for the rest of the ride. Our numerous markets (one or more for every day of the week!) are one of the best things about Chicago in the summer.
No, you don’t need a helmet for printing, but when you’re on the road it’s a requirement!
We’re back to Welles Park! You can get a little shot of Mr. Starshaped corking the ride in the left corner.
And of course here’s Todd, a staple of all Kidical Mass rides! Thanks for providing the great tunes to keep us hummin’ on the road.
Later in the evening, we headed back to the Ravenswood Outdoor Movie Night for a showing of Toy Story. We switched out the chase in the little Sigwalt for a more appropriate sticker and had a few of our youngest printers so far. Hats off to the 2 and 3 years olds! To infinity and beyond, indeed.
We’ve got another great event next weekend, so stay tuned for the details coming soon…
This Saturday, July 21st, the Press Bike will be making two appearances. Around 10am we’ll be heading to Welles Park in Lincoln Square to join up with the Kidical Mass ride, the kid-friendly version of a Critical Mass ride. These are super entertaining and reminiscent of the kiddie bike parades you joined as a child. It’s also a great chance to see a collection of cargo bikes from around the world.
We’ll be taking a bit of a breather in the afternoon to clean up the press and switch out what we’ll be printing (that’ll be a secret for now!) for the evening. Then around dusk we’ll head over to the Ravenswood Outdoor Movie Night for a showing of Toy Story. Jo is narrowing down the options for what we’ll be printing, but it will definitely be in sticker form again.
See you there!
Last night we were invited to print at the Ravenswood Outdoor Movie Night at Bethany United Church of Christ. It was the perfect night for printing while we waited for the sun to go down and for ET to start. In honor of the film’s theme, we set up little envelopes on which the kids printed a famous line from the movie, and then stuffed them with Reese’s Pieces. A big hit with kids and adults alike! And while Jo went to town printing the envelopes, these little cuties took to distributing them to the crowd so everyone could enjoy a treat. We’ll see you next month at Toy Story!