Cool Stuff / Letterpress / Printing / Uncategorized

The Festival to Plead For Skills


Melanie prepping her work

I’m sure many of you are wondering what in the world I’m talking about. Well I have a little backstory for you. Melanie is a member of the ILSSA. Still speaking gibberish? Well ILSSA is short for the Impractical Labor in Service of the Speculative Arts (which can be found here). The ILSSA is a “member-based artist organization uniting theory and practice.” They focus on the use of “obsolete” technology in conceptual or experimental ways, which is where PRESS comes in. You don’t see a fully operational 1969 Vandercook Proof Press everyday, do you? Exactly.

So let’s fast forward to today: July 7th marks the 4th annual Festival to Plead for Skills; According to ILSSA: “The festival is derived from the Chinese holiday of Qi Xi and the Japanese festival of Tanabata, in which celebrants wish for the betterment of their own craftsmanship.” Instead of wishing, the ILSSA makes the festival a holiday of practicing.

I can hear the groans of information overload so I’ll keep the rest simple.

It’s been a while since Melanie and the Vandercook have had some quality time, so she decided to come in and participate in the festival by printing the final installment of a collection she has been working on for a while. (Sidenote: These pieces will be a part of our Postal Pinacotheca show at the end of August!) She really wants to continue to grow and expand her skill set as a printer, so what better way than to come in and DO IT! Hopefully this will inspire you to take on a hobby, craft, or skill that you may have put on the backburner for a while. Stop walking past it everyday and take a few minutes to re-familiarize yourself with what you love. It’s really easy to get caught in your day-to-day routine, so give yourself a break and tap into your creative side. We’d love to hear which skills you revived!

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