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Friday, July 8, 2011

Meet The Type Truck, the Mobile Printing Press on a Cross-Country Tour

Posted By on Fri, Jul 8, 2011 at 12:00 PM

Cards from Power and Light Press: Burt is our favorite, of course.
Although she's not in a band, and her musical talent is an open question, Kyle Durrie of Power and Light Press has embarked on a cross-country tour. Durrie -- who is based in Portland and is the proprietor of a smashing Etsy store -- has turned a 1982 Chevy Step Van into a mobile print shop, set up for letterpress demonstrations and workshops, and she's headed our way.

She'll be stopping in at the Curiosity Shoppe at 825 Valencia from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, as part of its "Sunshine" Letterpress Show. Then she's off to San Francisco Center for the Book from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday for some demonstrations.

SFWeekly caught up with Durrie somewhere between Portland and San Francisco, to talk tire-changing, road-trip music, and old-school printing.

click to enlarge HTTP://TYPE-TRUCK.COM/
Where are you now? I am currently in Klamath Falls, Oregon, which is just over the border from California, and I am on my way to Reno.

How's it going so far?
I'm still working out the kinks and getting accustomed to this big truck, but the tour - the printing itself - has been great, and really fun.

How did you get into printing?
Well it was about five and a half years ago, on a whim. I was unemployed, and it was winter. I needed something to do. So I took a class and totally fell in love with it from the first day of the class.

What made you think it was something you could take on the road?
The idea has been percolating for the past year and a half or so. Last summer I was traveling with my boyfriend's band, just tagging along, and I had a lot of time to sit back and watch the band and how they planned their tour. I found it really interesting. And it got me thinking, could I do that sort of thing with the work that I do?

Have people seemed to know much about what you're doing?
It's been a mix. There's definitely some people who are familiar with printing, that are older, and they seem intrigued to see it in this new context, and then there's been a lot of people who've never seen the process before and it's been fun to have a moment of excitement with them when you peel the paper up and see the print you just made.

Did your friends and family think you were crazy to do this?
I have a lot of musician friends, so it didn't faze them at all. Of course my dad is really worried about me being on the road in this big truck, but I think it's been good to have things go off on a good start so far, makes it seem a little more legit.

Do you have any companions along for the ride?
Not at the moment. It's going to be a good mix of solo time and friend time. And I'm meeting so many people every place I stop, I never feel lonely or bored.

Can you change a tire?
I've done it before, but I'm definitely a little rusty at it. I'm not the most automotively inclined person, but I'm not afraid of it either.

What's your go-to road trip music?
Well I thought long and hard about that before I left, like making an awesome playlist, but it's so loud in the truck that I can't listen to music. The engine's really loud, it's a big delivery truck, and it's not meant to be a smooth ride, really. The engine's like right there. But normally, on road trips, I'd say you can't go wrong with old country songs.

How long are you going to be on the road for?
I imagine I'll make my way back to Portland in the spring, in April, but if its going well and if I'm not broke and exhausted, then I'll probably keep going.

Follow Jennifer Bastien and SF Weekly's Exhibitionist blog on Twitter.

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Jennifer Bastien


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