In the days before we were doing publicity on the internet, Ken commissioned art and made postcards to announce his pottery shows. He worked with our local Turtle Lake printer, Dave. Dave’s family published the Turtle Lake Times, and ran a print shop. One of Dave’s first printing jobs was to deal with that weird, long haired artist up in the woods who made pots – Ken. Ken had an art degree and was often a challenging client. He knew what he wanted, and often he wanted something others did not.
The first postcard was on white card stock, had black letters, and on the front was what Ken called a wash of color. Dave and most printers called it a bleed. When Dave ran the cards through the press, the yellow bleed (or wash) was uneven, and Dave as a printer saw it as defective and pitched the cards in the trash. Ken arrived and liked the one of a kind nature of the discards and pulled them out of the trash.
Both Dave and his Dad Jim were surprised. Dave was relieved he did not have to redo the job, and Jim ever after told the story of Ken pulling discards from the trash. Over the years Ken and Dave maintained an interesting relationship. Ken would tease Dave that like all printers he had to fill up the space with print and ask where was some white space. Dave would hand Ken the Xacto knife and Ken would move lines of type to show Dave what he wanted.
Dave got interesting and difficult print jobs from us over the years: from business cards in Japanese to a post card with birches back when the ink was rubber based instead of oil based and they just never dried – so there was a shadow on the print side.
Dave told Ken jokes – and Ken had a laugh progression. If he liked the joke he gasped as he laughed; a better joke caused him to gasp and honk and the best would not only provoke Ken to gasp and honk, but also tap his chest. This led one to wonder if he was indicating he needed CPR, but it always passed. Often Dave and I would find ourselves laughing at Ken laughing so hard!