Saturday, February 06, 2010

Bounding Billow: Sailors Printing on the High Seas

Martin Mazorra and Mike Houston of Cannonball Press braved the snowstorm of the season (if not the century) traveling from Brooklyn to Philadelphia. Their mission: delivery of a refurbished press and a trial run printing aboard the Cruiser Olympia, for the Out of Print program of Philagrafika 2010.

They managed to get the press onto the ship which required going across the deck of the submarine, the Becuna and into the Olympia. From there the press was deposited into the Admirals' quarters in the front of the ship where the boat has heat for the Cannonball to work

Printing press which lives aboard the Cruiser Olympiahis press is not the original, nor is it in working order - so Cannonball artists found a contemporary to what would have been used to print The Bounding Billow for the Out of Print project in the spring of 2010. Also shown is the exhibit case with the artist book that Cannonball has printed for the project.

After getting the press on the ship we headed to the Franklin Fountain for some research...they would like to have an ice cream social aboard the ship in March as part of the SGC conference...these are the Tarzan, a banana split and the Vesuvius (amazing).

Today the city of Philadelphia was blanketed by 23+ inches of snow. I documented my travels to the ship where I found the Cannonball boys wrapping up the trial print run on board. They were printing the last pages of a beautiful artist book that they created for the project. The book includes stories they gathered from their research at the Independence Seaport Museum alongside illustrations, based on woodcut prints they created.

Video adventure walking to the Cruiser Olympia from South Philly today during the snowstorm to see Cannonball Press test printing

The clamshell press in the Admiral quarters where Mike and Martin were printing, plus the chase locked up on the press with the magnesium plate of the text for the spread they printed shown here alongside an illustration of the engine from the ship.

Hope to see you this spring - family fun day planned for April 10. In the meantime, stay tuned for more details about the ice cream social printing day on board during SGC conference.



Caitlin Perkins said...

Jesse Lebovics, the Olympia's Historic Ship Manager said fittingly, "It's hard to be on this ship without being next to a cannon"

Cannonball that is!

Anonymous said...

Great video! Thanks for braving the snow to shoot it. Can't wait to see the artist book!