Friday, July 19, 2013

My Printer's Cabinets

I know I've mentioned my printer's cabinets before. But I thought I'd explain a little more. I visited the studio of a local artist a few years ago. She was selling some All Clad pans on Craigslist, and I answered her ad. The pans were in her studio which was amazing!!! (You should be hearing an operatic high note now.) It was the absolute dream studio. Large enough that she had tables/stations for different activities. She also had a huge rack of printer's trays. Everything was so organized!

At that point, my collecting had reached the point that I couldn't find parts when I wanted to create pieces. It was very frustrating. So I started searching for printer's cabinets. Most of them were extremely expensive. And strangely enough most of them on Craigslist were in the Midwest. Which did me no good. I finally found someone selling two of them in Virginia. So we hooked up our tiny trailer to our Prius and headed off to the wilds of Virginia.

Now I am incredibly cheap, so I was worried about spending the money to buy two. But my husband encouraged me to get both. And I am so glad that we did.

Here's one of the cabinets. See all the drawers. It's about three feet wide and 46" tall. Note the organized chaos on top of the cabinet.
antique printer's cabinet in my studio

Here you can see both of them 
antique printer's cabinet in my studio

See how some of the drawers are mismatched? Printers would buy the case and a few printer's trays to start out. Then they would add more as the business grew. antique printer's cabinet in my studio

I love that the old font labels are still here.
antique printer's cabinet font labels

Now for the fun - let's peek inside! This is my drawer full of recycled chains and necklaces. 
 recycled chains and necklaces

 This drawer has my pearls and crystals. Of course this only shows about one-third of the drawer.
pearls and crystals

 I love my button drawer - so full of vintage fun. I buy button boxes at estate sales. They're always full of the most interesting things. My last button box had a gold tooth in it! 
my button drawer

And here are all my recycled beads. I think it's time to start a new drawer.
recycled beads

I love how organized everything is. I can find anything I need now. Plus I love being able to open a drawer and see everything at a glance when I am designing a piece. I never completely plan out a design; I tend to design on the fly. 

The Hamilton Holly Wood Type Co. was founded in 1880. In 1917, they began making the printer's cabinets in steel instead of wood. So that provides a very narrow window for dating my cabinets. I just love old stuff!

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