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stories 2016


The Itinerant Printer, Chris Fritton, is in the studio, Monday, February 8, today for some printing and a "Meet & Greet" from 5:00 - 8:00. Come by. Buy a couple of letterpress posters. Support a maker who is working his butt off and producing some great work in the process.

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Lead Graffiti is playing host to Chris Fritton, The Itinerant Printer, who is currently visiting letterpress shops on a corner-to-corrner, country-wide journey. You can read Chris' whole story here, but here are the basics.

The Itinerant Printer will visit letterpress printshops across America throughout 2015 and 2016, producing unique prints at each venue culled from their idiosyncratic collections of wood type, metal type, cuts, ornaments, and polymer plates. These prints will be mailed back to followers and supporters of the project as postcards (and care packages) from the road.

The project intends to capture the spirit of the analog revival, send real samples of it into people’s mailboxes, and convey the ethos of the handmade to a broader audience via social media, and as a culmination, result in a coffee table book that features photos all of the prints, printshops, and people from the adventure.

It is also about reviving that sense of adventure in printing, along with the analog sharing of information. It’s about going out into the world, seeking work based on your skill set, making something with your hands, and delivering that object to someone. It’s about an exchange of ideas, of techniques, of information, of style, and of the consummation of all those things: prints.

Our loose itinerary whille he is at our studio depends a bit on what Chris wants to accomplish in and around Lead Graffiti. We do want to show him all of our tricks and make this leg of his journey memorable. Jill is currently sick so I'm not sure how much she will be involved.

Thursday, February 4 - Hang in the studio and print something. Maybe a couple of things. We want to do some of our handrolling, round and diagonal lockups, printing on the iron handpress, etc. Likely that will run from 10am to 5pm or so. Anyone that wants to come by and play with us is free to join us. Think of it as an open workshop. We will probably do lunch at the Glass Kitchen. Feel free to join us, if you pay your own way. FYI, Ray and Jill are NOT doing dessert because of basic South Beach rules here for a little while.

Friday, Febrary 5 - If Chris is up for a road trip he may go with us to an APHA meeting at Georgetown. Hopefully we can stop off at the Library of Congress to get a Reader's Card and sit for a couple hours in the Rare Book Room, looking at some Ken Campbell books. Just saying that gave me goosebumps. Also we would stop by the current Shakespeare exhibit at the Folger Library.

Saturday, February 6 - Chris is doing a side trip on his own while we do a bookmaking workshop.

Sunday, February 7 - Chris is going to join us for one of our Creative Letterpress meander book workshops we are having with a group of design students from Tyler School of Art. We want him to experience this fabulous workshop which results in a 2-color, hardback book printed via letterpress in one day using no glue or sewing. We are also going to give Chris time for a short presentation about his journey.

Monday, February 8 - Playing during the day in the studio with a meet-&-greet scheduled for 5-8pm. Again lunch will be at The Glass Kitchen and anyone is welcome to join in as long as you pay your way.

Below is a postcard Chris did at nearby Gingerly Press, a good friend of Lead Graffiti, on Tuesday, February 2. The color is typical Fritton. The small type is typical Lindsay Schmittle. Marry those two and you get the card.

Here are a few other images supplied by Chris.

A B O V E : studio shot

Come to the meet-&-greet and walk home with a keepsake printed via letterpress of the occasion.

Buy a poster and help Chris out.