Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Letterpress for Mother's Day

Though not a printer herself, my mother Ruth was always a big supporter of letterpress. She had an eye for good design, too. Often my father Gary Hantke would have her proofread and take a look at a piece he was about to print. Mom would catch the typos and suggest a bit of white space here or there.

Mom became good friends with several of the printer’s wives, and enjoyed attending Dad’s annual APA printing conventions. Often she managed to charm free cuts, paper, or ink from vendors at the swap meets. Mom and Dad even took a month long trip to Europe with one of the couples from APA.

She was also a wonderful mother. My sister and I never lacked for attention. She sewed our Halloween costumes, Easter and Christmas dresses, and spring and fall wardrobes. She loved to garden and play the piano, and was an excellent cook whose homemade bread, coffeecakes and pizza were legend.

In 1966 Dad printed a lovely poetry booklet for Mother’s Day and gave it to her. All that setting and design work, and he just printed one copy ― for her. I found it with some of her papers after she died.

After my mother’s death in 2008, my husband and I printed a memorial piece in her honor. The type was Murray Hill, her favorite typeface, and the quote was surrounded by a border of flowers and musical notes.

I miss you, Mom! Thank you for all you taught me and gave me. And Happy Mother’s Day. Love, Carole

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