Rock Bend Weekend

Tin Can News

Come catch Tin Can Valley at the Rock Bend Folk Festival this weekend in Minnesota Square Park in St. Peter, Minnesota. The festival is open from noon ’til the early evening Saturday and Sunday. Free live music on two stages. Lots of other artists and food trucks too.

I will have two small printing presses set up, and giving kids and adults the opportunity to get ink on their clothes, and try letterpress printing.

This is kind of exciting because I haven’t set up my tent at an art fair since the summer of 2019! Also, this will be my first time selling art as a vendor at Rock Bend. I’ve been to nearly every festival, and even played on the stage with a band once, but this is my first time as an artist.

More info and the full music schedule at the Rock Bend website.

Minnesota Prairie Roots

Tin Can News

There is a fantastic article about my current exhibit in Montgomery on the Minnesota Prairie Roots site. The writer, Audrey Kletscher Helbling, really did a perfect job of capturing the essence of my work.

Though we have never met, Audrey and I share a common bond of both beginning our careers at the same newspaper, twenty years apart, working under the tutelage of the same publisher, James Deis, the owner of The Gaylord Hub.

I’ve been reading Audrey’s articles for years. Her passion for journalism, and recording the culture of small-town and rural Minnesota is obvious, and comprehensive. She’s been everywhere, documenting the lives of artists, craftspeople, and workers, living in the small towns, and exposing the rich highlights of what otherwise looks to be dying communities.

No other source in any medium has the depth and breadth of coverage of life in south central Minnesota as Minnesota Prairie Roots. Though she humbly refers to it as a blog, Minnesota Prairie Roots rivals the best news publications online or in print, and will be regarded as an important cultural resource for generations.

Print Show!

Tin Can News

I am excited to announce that my first solo art show is happening now at the Arts & Heritage Center of Montgomery. On display is a sort-of career retrospective, demonstrating the history of how I got into printing, posters, prints, and advertising from the last twenty years, and printing equipment from my collection of letterpress equipment.

Ps, Qs, Bs, and Ds

Tin Can News, Tin Can Tips

Here begins a regular feature of the Tin Can News. ( Or if you are reading in reverse chronological order, this will be the last post. )

When I started as a printer, more than twenty years ago, I hustled my way into my first job. I wanted to be a printer, and all I had was ambition and a few ink drawings that I wanted to sell copies of. The small-town newspaper editor that hired me needed a press operator and was willing to give me a shot at it.

Thus began my dive into learning the printing trade in a one-press-operator town. The editor, near retirement age, had grown up in the print shop, but had spent most of his time: covering the city council, taking photos of house fires and car accidents, selling ads, calming down disgruntled customers, taking change-of-addresses over the phone, editing sloppy news copy, pasting-up pages just before deadline, enlarging prints in the darkroom, all things I would get to experience, as well, in my next fifteen years at the paper.

There are now several good resources online with all sorts of good advice, perhaps passed down through the ages from master press operator to printers devil. If you are starting out in this trade, I encourage you to follow their advice. Read all you can. Talk to other printers, most of them exist entirely for the chance to expound their squirreled-away knowledge. Some are jerks, but not many.

When you have expended every sensible attempt at making legible prints, one-at-a-time, and it’s late, the rest of the world is sleeping, and the lamp still burns over your press, and you just want to go home. Maybe you’ll remember one of these methods, and you will be inspired to improvise, ‘cause so-and-so made do, and got the job done, with the wrong tool for the wrong job. Press on.

Old News

Tin Can News

If this is your first visit here, don’t waste your time reading any of the news beyond this post. Seriously. Go poke around in the gallery. I’m slightly better at uploading pictures than writing news posts. But not much.

Everything new is old again.