Repairing our old Ironer (Mangle)

We have a near-antique Easy brand ironer (also known as a mangle). This has a cloth-covered roller and a heated platen that presses against it, and it would have originally been used for ironing (typically) large items like bedsheets. We now use it occasionally for flattening paper or marbling, for quick-setting the internal AKD sizing in freshly-made paper, and for drying a small batch of paper for something like a colour test.

The cloth-covered drum rotates upwards on the front, pulling the item to be ironed over the top of the drum and under the platen which presses against the back of the drum. There are controls to temporarily pause the drum rotation, to raise and lower the platen, and to control the platen temperature. Our drum is a bit stained from a series of colour tests we did with Red 101 pigment.

A while back, the ironer stopped working as its motor (mounted shaft-upwards below the gearbox at the right-hand end) fell off and was just dangling by its power cord. Read more ›

A Pump Stroke Counter for the Monotype Caster

I recently installed a pump stroke counter on my Monotype Composition caster, which will prove very useful when casting spacing and fonts of display type (fonts of composition type can be produced using the paper ribbon or computer interface).

The counter is an inexpensive import which was given to me by Stephen Quick at Weathervane Press in Orleans, Ontario.

Read more ›

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BOUND Book Arts Fair, December 8th 2019 in Toronto

The Papertrail will be participating in the third edition of the BOUND Book Arts Fair, on Sunday, December 9th, 2019. The fair will be held from 11am to 5 pm in the Arts and Letters Club, 14 Elm Street (a block or two from Yonge & Dundas) in downtown Toronto.

Vendors at the fair will have handmade and artist’s books, printed items such as cards, broadsides, and various ephemera, as well as materials and tools for use in the book arts. We will have a vendor’s table there, where we will be selling primarily (due to space limitations) our paper and marbling.

If you wish, you can order from our regular product offerings in advance and pick up your order at the fair, saving you shipping costs, but please make sure we have a couple of days’ notice to get your order ready.

Admission to the fair is free, but there will almost assuredly be something there you want to buy!

A Film About George Walker

There is a Kickstarter campaign on to help finance a film entitled “Woodwriter: The Wordless Art of George A. Walker.” The project was initiated by photographer and filmmaker Jeff Winch.

George is a good friend of ours, whom we see at pretty much any book arts event we attend in southern Ontario (and beyond… I ran into him once at Gaspereau Press’s Wayzgoose in Nova Scotia). He has published several wordless books, each one expressing its story in a series of original woodcuts, and this is the focus of the film.

The campaign runs until October 1st 2019, and is currently almost halfway to its $5000 target. If you want more information or would like to contribute, you can use the link above.

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Updated listing of available handset type

I just brought home a large lot of new (to me) matrices, mostly Lanston display matrices, and I’ve updated our list of available fonts to include these. Many of these fill in gaps in the sizes for faces already offered, but there are a few new faces as well.

Another new pulp: Hemp/Cotton Rag blend

We have a batch (around 150kg) of pulp which is a blend of cotton rag and our raw hemp fibre. The hemp has not been cooked so this is purely a mechanical pulp. It still contains the shives (bits of pith from the plant stems) from the hemp so it makes a slightly bumpy paper.

This pulp is available while it lasts for $16.50 per kilogram.

Howard Iron Works Print Expo & Fair 2019

This September marks the second year for the Howard Iron Works Print Expo & Fair, which will take place at Howard Iron Works, 800 Westgate Road, Oakville Ontario, on Saturday, September 28th 2019, from 10am to 4pm. Admission to the fair and museum is free.

The inaugural fair took place last year around the same date, and between the vendors and displays of restored old printing presses in the museum it was a fabulous event. In addition to all of last year’s attractions, this year they will have several presses set up for you to try printing your own keepsake, and there will be a few 1-hour workshops on various topics for a mere $20 (advance registration is recommended).

We’ll have a table there, selling paper, marbling, and some bookbinding supplies.

Introductory Papermaking Workshop, Tuesday July 9th

We’re holding another of our Introductory Papermaking workshops on Tuesday, July 9th, 2019, running from 9am to 4pm (with a 1-hour lunch break) at our store in New Dundee.

At the workshop, you’ll learn about the basics of making paper from commercially-available pulp and your own recycled paper. We’ll touch on plenty of more advanced topics to give you a good overview of what you can do in papermaking.

Depending on how prolific you are, you’ll make 40-80 5×7″ sheets which you can either take home damp, pick up fully-dry at a later date, or for the cost of postage, we can ship them to you.

The fee for this workshop is $65.00 plus 13% HST, for a total of $73.45 per person, including all materials.

If you’d like to attend this workshop, please contact us as soon as possible to avoid being disappointed by finding the workshop already full.

Updated font list for handset type

We’ve recently purchased a large lot of matrices for casting type, and so I’ve updated our font list to match. I’m expecting another equally large influx of mats in the next few months as well, and I’ll update the list again when they arrive.

I’m working on making up specimens of our type, but progress is slow so far—I’ve only done two faces!

Wayzgoose 2019 has come and gone (oops!)

We’ve been lax in posting to our blog lately, to the point of forgetting to announce the 2019 Wayzgoose in Grimsby, Ontario!

This event took place at the Grimsby Public Art Gallery and Library last Saturday, April 27th.

Despite the cool rainy weather outside, the exhibitors were all snug and dry inside, and we had pretty good attendance through the day. This year our table was in the adjacent Carnegie Building (the original Grimsby Public Library), which has its ups (more display space) and downs (having to lug our stuff up half a flight of stairs).