A little over a week ago, Eric and I made the trip to Gordo to pick up our tabletop letterpress AND receive some letterpress training from Glenn House, Sr. While at Gallery 121 (gallery and studio/workshop of Glenn House and his wife, artist Kathleen Fetters), we also got a whirlwind lesson in papermaking.
The entire day was like a grad school class on steroids. There was note-taking. There was hands-on letterpressing. There was a lot of delicate-shimmying-and shaking of papermaking (you see, there is a subtle dance to which you must know the steps in order to do it right).
As overhead lights flickered and went out (chalked up to a longstanding side effect of Glenn’s personal magnetism), Eric and I listened to instructional information, cautionary tales (the ability of levers to crush or smash, Wickersham quoins to pinch, and the ease with which cast iron will break when dropped), and practiced papermaking dance moves until Glenn thought we could replicate them on our own once we returned to Gadsden.
In the midst of all this, we dined family-style at the endearing Cheeky’s Restaurant just down the street from the Gallery. Eric ordered the special, a Cheeky Burger, which was not actually a burger, but a grilled chicken fillet, smothered in wing sauce, topped with bacon, nestled inside a pretzel bun. The Cheeky Burger, as the proprietress told us, was created in loving memory of her late daughter. Basically, she took everything her daughter enjoyed eating, and put it on a bun…I can’t think of a better, more beautiful way to remember someone you love.
Did you all know that there are other fabulous artists in Gordo, within a stone’s throw of Gallery 121? Photographer Barbara Lee Black has a gallery across the street from Glenn and Kathleen’s place, and letterpress artist Amos Kennedy works in a studio just around the corner. All this, in Gordo, AL. Wonder what else they have…