Thursday, November 26, 2015

East coast road trip

The east coast of Wisconsin that is.  We took a day trip around Lake Winnebago to Two Rivers to see the Hamilton Wood Type Museum and then, to lunch and the John Micheal Kohler Art Museum in Sheboygan. Biographical note: I was only in Sheboygan once before – to attend the Junior Classical League State Convention.

In another vein that betrays my age, both Sarah and I have had professional experience with wood type. Sarah worked for the Dick Blick Company who had a product line called Sign Press (I was the hand model for the cover of one of their catalogs), and at both institutions at which I spent my career, I had to make prints on a Sign Press. Metal type only comes in sizes up to about 72 point.  Any bigger than that, it's wood, and it was probably made at the Hamilton Manufacturing Company.

The process begins with this fearsome saw which slices maple logs into pieces exactly as tall as the type will be. It's actually kind of an interesting process. Individual characters of various sizes are carved from a template reduced with a pantograph, and finished by hand with a wood chisel.

In addition to the wood type manufacturing process, the museum includes all sorts of presses and press room peripherals like multi-ton hydraulic paper cutters and a collection of millions of pieces of type.

It included a couple of complete linotypes.  These things are really monstrous and fiendishly complicated. Part of the process involves casting molten lead. Sure glad I don't have to use one of those to create this blog. I've been aware of linotypes and how they worked as long as I can remember, but I'd never actually seen one before.

Major highlight of any road trip is stopping by a smashing little restaurant for lunch and Field and Feast filled the bill quite well.

They're paired with an upscale Italian restaurant in the same building and you can get their Tiramasu for dessert. This negative is kind of underexposed.  You know how sometimes the length of the exposure is determined by how long you can stand to wait?

After buying some of what my son characterized as the best cheddar he's ever had it's on to see some art.

Like a lot of small art musems, the oldest part is the home of the original benefactor,  in this case the founder of Kohler Manufacturing. They display some of the possessions of the Kohlers, but it's not set up like a preserved home.

Except for the dining room, which has a life-size sculpture of a horse over by the windows.  That's a contemporary addition, not part of the the Kohlers dining room decor.

There was an exhibit of Asian textiles that included these kimonos with really fantastic batik prints.

There were actually three photography exhibits, including one that had an art/science mashup theme. These large prints were part of a series of the oldest living things on earth.  The closest thing to pinhole were photograms of various sorts.  There were several prints from Abelardo Morrell's Tent Camera but I think there's a lens involved creating those images.

Although I sometimes sneak shots in museums where it's not allowed, in this case it was and I had a nice conversation with the security guard who was very curious about pinhole photography. I photographed him while he was taking photographs of the paintings on the ceiling of this room to send to a relative who was coming to visit using his 15 year old cell phone which he keeps because he likes the camera.

Before heading back to the other side of Lake Winnebago, we took a cruise on the lake shore drive and were treated to a very nice sunset over the Lake Michigan shoreline.

All with the Populist. .15mm pinhole 24mm from 24x36mm frame.

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