First, a clarification: Power and Light Press
is my full-time print shop, based in Portland, Oregon. I started it in 2009. The mobile print shop is called Moveable Type
. That idea was hatched in the fall of 2010, while on a cross-country tour with my boyfriend’s band. Two of my favorite things in the world are letterpress and road trips. I loved being on tour, and thought it would be a really cool experience to take my own work (printing) out on the road. My name is Kyle Durrie.
Are you going on this big adventure alone?
I spent 11 months (June 2011 – April 2012) traveling around the country in my mobile print shop. I had company from time to time (friends tagging along here and there) but the bulk of the trip was on my own. I have another 3-week West Coast tour coming up in October, which I’ll also do solo.
Do you go around the country and print works, or is it more for teaching people about printing presses?
This is, first and foremost, a teaching project. While I do display my own posters and cards in the truck and offer them for sale (for gas money!), I’m primarily interested in sharing the process of letterpress printing with people and providing them with the experience of working with their hands.
When did you first get interesting in printing?
I studied art in college, and got my first taste of printmaking there. We didn’t have a letterpress studio, but I really loved the process of intaglio printing (etching, woodcut, etc). A few years after I finished school, I gave letterpress a try, kind of on a whim, and signed up for an 8-week course. I totally fell in love with it. When that course ended, I started looking around at apprenticeships, to further my education. I apprenticed at Blue Barnhouse (Asheville, NC) for a year, and then at Wolfe Editions (Portland, ME) before moving back to Portland, OR to start my own shop, Power and Light Press, in 2009.
You also run Em-Space press..how did that get started? Do you take unsolicited submissions to print?
I don’t run it, but I am a member. Em Space Book Arts Center is a cooperative studio, and I am one of about 20 members who share equipment and space. This is where I run Power and Light Press from. We are all independent printers and bookbinders, and found that we’d all be better off by pooling our resources and sharing one big awesome studio. We each pay monthly dues for access to the equipment, and we also teach classes to the community and host gallery shows and other events.
If you weren’t printing, what would you be doing?
Please describe a “life in the day” when you are traveling with your moveable type-truck.
Days were pretty varied, but usually involved me waking up in some new town, getting coffee, and hitting the road to the next town. Sometimes I’d just have a 2-hour drive, sometimes and 8-hour drive. I’d get to my destination (gallery, school, library, market, etc), set up the truck, and then spend the afternoon/evening inviting folks in to try their hand at making a print to take home with them. The day usually ended with some food/drinks with new friends, and then a late night of catching up on emails, booking future events, and route planning. It was always exhausting and (almost) always fun.
If you are interested in booking the project for your school or library, check out the website for more information!