Lake Michigan Book Press Blog

What is the difference between a book press and a copying press?

Crystal Shaulis

What is the difference between a book press and a copying press?

After picking up an antique book press, I decided to do some digging to find out the age of this lovely iron piece, or perhaps even find a make and model since this particular press only stated ‘pat app’d for’. After some cursory Googling it was quickly revealed that, well, this wasn’t a book press - and what we commonly know as the 'book press' isn't that at all. They are letter copying presses. But…What exactly is a letter copying press? Apparently, back in the 1800s these ‘book presses’ were used for making copies of letters into blank books. A copying book,...


New press in the studio!

Crystal Shaulis

New press in the studio!

I’m always on the hunt for book presses, or anything that might be used as a book press. I’ve spent some time looking at a screw clamp, which pretty much looks like a book press without a body or platen... Now, I don’t just shop willy nilly, those Amazon reviews matter to me. They weren’t very good. And well, for that price ($65) it wasn’t worth the risk plus the work that goes into completing the press. In the meantime, I decided to build one of those wooden presses with the bolts and wing nuts which you might’ve seen around if...


Making Paper from Beach Grass

Crystal Shaulis

Making Paper from Beach Grass

I've been working on a chapbook for a collection of Elizabeth Kerlikowske's poems, Chain of Lakes. Each poem is based on the many lakes of Michigan. Much of the work has been strictly on the computer, designing the layout, pulling together analog photos, choosing typefaces, etc. But, now it's time to concentrate on the cover of this chap book. Originally, the plan was a basic handmade cotton paper, perhaps mixed with some abaca to give it a bit more strength. But this seemed really mundane for a book inspired by Michigan's lakes. What about adding seaweed inclusions from the lakes? That might be interesting. ...Except it's March, and we're not due to...