Goshen College’s printing press will soon be on the move.
By early December, the Vandercook SP15 press will be taken out of its current home at The Local, an art gallery and artists’ collective on Main Street in Goshen, and will be moved to a studio between Fables Books and the hardware store.
This move was prompted by the sale of the building that housed The Local.
“We’ll be housing the press in a studio located downtown, between the bookstore and the hardware store,” Ida Short said. Short is a 2015 GC graduate with a degree in Studio Art and concentration in drawing and printmaking.
“Hopefully, the press will be moved between Nov. 24 and Dec. 3,” she said. “Right now, I’m coordinating with other people about removing the door of the studio to let us move equipment in easier.”
The press provides a variety of learning opportunities within the English department as students are able to do semester-long printing internships working with it. Broadsides — a piece of poetry (in this case, written by GC students) short enough to fit on a single page — are also sometimes printed on the press.
Short and Breanna Daugherty, who graduated from GC in 2011 with a degree in art education, are taking over teaching people how to use the press as well as doing routine maintenance.
“Presses need to be used and oiled regularly, similar to instruments that need to be tuned but also played often to retain that tuning,” Short said.
When possible, English professor Jessica Baldanzi takes students from her creative writing class to see the press in action and to learn more about the printing process.
Sophomore biology major and writing minor Dakota Cain was a part of that class trip last fall.
“Before the field trip, we each thought [up] … sentences that used all the English letters,” she said. “I forget what mine was, but it was a fun experience.”
In order to use the printing press, students had to arrange their letters upside down and backwards, according to Cain. They also had to take the spacing between the letters into account to prevent the lines from running together.
Then, the students had to apply ink to a rolling pin and roll the ink onto the stamps, which were then flipped onto the page.
“It was a lot of work, but the end result was amazing,” Cain said.