They say that time contracts when you’re busy, and I would have to say this feels true, especially of everything that’s happened since the close of our Indiegogo restoration campaign last December. It’s an understatement to say we were successful. We raised a whopping $17,429, a full 128% of our goal, and only a little over $1500 off of our stretch goal. We are SO very grateful to all the people who supported the press!

The winter was a busy one for us, as we wrapped up the campaign and continued shipping perks out as they came available. But as early spring approached, the REAL work began in earnest.

The first order of business was to excavate soil out from around the building. It had built up pretty badly and on the south side of the building had caused unexpected rot to the foundation, so right off the bat we were hit with unanticipated costs. Fortunately, my partner Terry is capable of anything and he managed the replacement of some beams and the south wall rim joist. We also had to remove shingles on the south wall below the window to expose and remove rot in the wall below the big window, and to get ready for the new window.

In late February, Ecowoodworks came out, deconstructed the old window, and carefully saved every pane of glass (but two) for the new window. Shop Foreman Devin Markoff personally handled the construction of the new window, and friends, it’s a thing of total beauty. The installation took place on March 17. It’s impossible to describe the feeling of satisfaction and gratitude the moment we were able to look out of this gorgeous, strong, weatherproof new window without the filter of worry and concern we used to feel with a rotting, leaking window. And remarkably, it’s a perfect match for the previous window, with a stain to match, the proper mill profile and the same old wavy glass that made the lake view even more special.

Next up was the (gulp) tree removal. This epic two-day project began on May 10th as Luis from Ron’s Tree Service got his gear on and started climbing the 180′ fir, cutting branches as he went up and lowering them each to the ground by rope so as not to damage anything below. At the end of day one, Luis cut the tree top out and we watched as he perilously swung to and fro at the top of the bare 100′ trunk.

The next day Luis climbed back up the tree and with the aid of a huge crane (that I never thought would make it up my narrow driveway), the tree started coming down in larger chunks than the day before. This time, the pieces were long enough to be milled at a future date and donated to various projects. It was another long day, but at the end of it, five huge logs had been hauled off to a yard to season, and the shorter pieces were stacked off to the side for future firewood and other uses.

Of course, there was also a huge stump surrounded by a large mound of soil. Terry and I decided that rather than pay to have it ground out, we would cut it out of the ground. Easier said than done! We dug and dug for weeks, trying to remove every little bit of soil and rock that would interfere with the saw blade. Then Terry got to work exposing each massive root and cutting through them one by one until the only thing that remained was the taproot going straight down. You wouldn’t believe the list of tools that were needed to get this stump detached from the earth! But at long last, on July 1st, Terry used his grandpa’s block and tackle to pull the stump over on its side, severing the last few inches of uncut taproot that remained. Another incredibly impressive accomplishment by Terry Bunce! It’s looks so beautiful where it rests, that we’ve decided to keep it there through the winter and will consider dragging it somewhere to rot in peace next year.

At this point we were exhausted, our budget was about spent, but we really wanted that last important thing… new paint.

The press hadn’t been painted in many, many years, and it showed. I don’t know how to put it any other way, but spiders had been pooping on the siding since the day after the last paint job, and even though I have washed as much as I could off every few years, spider poo is strangely resilient, and leaves little white streaks and droplets on the siding. We hired Ariel Biggerstaff from Great Bigg Painting Co. to come and prep the building while I looked at hundreds of color swatches and changed my mind a few too many times. But at long last, I found my color. It wasn’t easy to choose, because the press has been the same lichen-y, forest-service green since early days. Yet, I wanted to show in some more obvious way that the press was restored and ready for the future. New color really sends the message. I chose a deep blue-green to harmonize with the varied greens of maple leaves, woodland plants, Douglas Fir and ivy😦 and the rich browns of the forest floor. Freshly painted white trim just makes the whole thing even more brilliant. Come up and check it out! Ariel Biggerstaff did such a beautiful and attentive job, and also helped us open all the old windows that had been painted and nailed shut, so now we can throw windows open and let the fresh air in when the weather is fine. What a difference!

We aren’t completely and totally done yet, because next year we have to come back and tackle the damage the tree did to the foundation, and replace more shingles along the bottom edge of the building. However… I think it’s acceptable to say that we have achieved everything that was really important to do for the building, and it feels way more solid and looks amazing. Another 25 years is no longer hard to imagine in our little seaside cabin in the woods.

Every day I wish I could show my predecessor Jocelyn what this community has made possible. It would be tremendous evidence that she started something that Olympia would deeply embrace. I am so fortunate to continue where she left off and assume the tremendous institution and community good-will that she created here. I look forward to all the lovely work ahead as we continue Jocelyn’s long print run.

 

 

We’re now in high gear producing perks for our Indiegogo campaign and will start shipping several this coming week. We are nearly at $16,000 of our stretch goal of $19,000!

Our window restoration guy Dave King has taken measurements of the window, probed the wall below for rot, and is getting ready to start the process. It’s hard to believe that we can already get this important work done with the money raised so far. The campaign success also means that The Nutcracker tree can be safely and hopefully creatively removed.

Now we’re really dreaming that we can also install the french drain, repair the siding, and then paint next summer. Help us keep our campaign buoyed-up by sharing with your friends!

Visit our Indiegogo Campaign! Ends on December 14th!

WE MADE IT!!!

And now on to our stretch goals!

Thank you, Olympia, friends, family, and supporters of all kinds from all places! We are absolutely thrilled and immensely grateful to you for supporting our restoration campaign!

Our stretch goal is $19k. We are already over 75% of the way there, and contributions are still rolling in. So we are becoming more hopeful that this restoration can be more fully realized, with a drainage system, siding repairs and a glorious layer of protective PAINT!

We still have great perks available, and will come out with a few more during the rest of our campaign, has another 34 days to go.  We’re going to take a slower approach for the next month, but rest assured, we are still going to drive hard at our final goal, because the press building needs it, and our future depends on the press!

Stay tuned for more!

Visit our campaign on Indiegogo!

Today we spent an hour and a half with Rolf Boone, staff writer for the Olympian, and Steve Bloom, Olympian photographer. We had a great time chatting about the press and I probably kept them far longer than they intended, but they seemed to enjoy their time at the press. Here is the resulting article!

After 75 years, The Sherwood Press in Olympia seeks funds to for key upgrades, repairs

PHENOMENAL!!!

I’m just so thrilled to have such a positive update about our Indiegogo campaign: The Sherwood Press 75 Year Restoration Fund. We launched last friday and thanks to 118 wonderful friends and supporters, we are now just dollars away from reaching the $10,000 mark! Thank you everyone who has helped bring us to this point and all those who intend to take us further!

I’m pretty sure than everyone who launches a fundraising campaign feels a mixture of fear, doubt, embarrassment, humility, excitement, and hopefulness. I did. I was really worried that repairs aren’t “sexy” enough to stimulate people’s generosity. I’m so glad to say I am wrong! I like to think we have a great story and great perks, too. But what we really have are great friends and community here in Olympia, and a supportive community of letterpress printers, designers and enthusiasts who are giving our campaign this unexpected lift.

The next big goal is to raise enough to remove “The Nutcracker”. This enormous fir tree has lived a wonderful life here at the press, but it has to go. You can see that it now stands less than an inch away from the eaves of the press building. And the roots are already crushing our bathroom. We have lots of great ideas for the large amount of wood that will come of this tree, and will be planting more seedlings to help compensate the loss of this beloved tree.

I am in the process of hanging a copper tag for every single contributor to our campaign. My hand is quite sore from writing everyone’s name deeply into the copper. This “Garland of Well-Wishers” is hanging over the window that we are NOW ABLE TO RESTORE because of the campaign. and once it is, we will take the garland outside and hang it in the memorial garden I built for Jocelyn back in the spring of 2004, and every name will wave and rustle among the trees from now on. Soon you will be able to not only visit your name in the garden, but visit the new window and the spruced-up building, ready for the next 25 years!

Thank you everyone!

IMG_7761Visit our Campaign Page on Indiegogo!

Folks, if you’ve ever sat around thinking to yourself, “I wish I could give money to a small local business who has an old building that is rotting into the ground,” then today is your lucky day!

Our small, cedar cabin in the woods on the edge of Olympia’s west side just turned 75 years old, and like any 75 year old, is experiencing a certain degradation of form. Standing outside under the trees and in the weather these many years, the big 8-foot window is rotting and sagging into an also-compromised wall.

An enormous fir tree we call “The Nutcracker” is crushing the corner of our tiny structure and stands just 3/4″ away from the eaves. Unfortunately it needs to be lovingly, and respectfully “dismantled” and will soon stoke many future fireplaces and wood stoves around town.

In exchange for your contribution, there are many fun perks for you to claim. Please check them out and help us even more by sharing with your friends and networks!

Thank you SO much.

Sherwood_Halloween_2015-01

Since I arrived at The Sherwood Press 26 years ago, I have always thought we should open up for Halloween, but in all those years we never had, until last year. This neighborhood just isn’t a big Halloween neighborhood, and lots of parents drive their kids up to the South Capitol neighborhood to enjoy the crazy and competitive scene that has developed there. Yet The Sherwood Press has something to offer that other places do not. It’s already just a bit mysterious and spooky. It’s up a steep, long driveway, surrounded by extremely tall trees, and it looks like the witch’s cabin from the tale of Hänsel and Gretel. Well, it’s not made of cakes and sweets, but there will be cakes and sweets inside. Come on by…. if you DARE.

We welcome teenagers!

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