Saturday, 26 November 2011

Printing the magazine and protecting the environment

Now I’ve learned all about printing the Indie Shaman magazine with many thanks to everyone at Minuteman Press Bristol. It’s been fascinating watching their expertise at work and as I’m very nearly an expert now too I look forward to being able to advise June, the editor, when I get back home.

Here I am doing a post-press spot check of colours and print. All in order so on to the next stage.

When the print run is complete it’s time to collate, staple, fold and trim the edges.

All done! Just time to box the magazines. Oh, and what a great image on the front of this particular edition!

Just time for a chat with Peter about Minuteman Press’s all important environmental policy. Like Indie Shaman, Minuteman Press Bristol recognises that there is a great responsibility in printing magazines so they use only FSC (Forestry Stewardship Council) certified paper. This means the paper is sourced from sustainable forests. A sustainable forest is one where felled trees are replaced by new trees. It will contain trees of all ages and care is also taken to ensure the safety of any wildlife there.

All the paper used by Minuteman Press Bristol is EU sourced as well as FSC certificated. Sourcing things as locally as possible helps carbon emissions – June told me that was important. Carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere when people (I nearly said ‘we’ then but to be honest its people that do it not hedgehogs) burn fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are used in transporting things to different places so it’s much better if you can source things locally or from as least far away as possible. In nature’s cycle carbon dioxide is absorbed by plants and trees, which is one reason sustainable forestry is so important. But the trees can’t keep up with the amount of carbon dioxide people produce which is why it’s equally important to think of the ‘carbon footprint’ of everything you do.

Peter told me that the inks they use for printing are vegetable based too. We then had an interesting talk about plastic bags because Minuteman won’t accept orders to print them and Indie Shaman don’t stock them. I don’t like plastic bags either as my cousin hedgehogs in the wild can get stuck in them when they are discarded as litter and suffocate or starve.

As a hedgehog it’s always good to know that some people care about things like the environment and plastic bags. Maybe one day all people will but possibly all people aren’t as wise as hedgehogs yet. Well we do pass down our wisdom through the generations and we are quite ancient animals having been around for about 15 million years!

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Visiting Minuteman Press Bristol to find out how our Indie Shaman magazine is made

Hi everyone

I was very happy to hear that Peter Wise, Director of Minuteman Press Bristol, had said to June Kent on Twitter that they would be happy to have me visit them to learn all about printing magazines and to give a hand with printing the Indie Shaman Shamanic Lifestyle Magazine. Peter said they had a desk and seat and cardboard box with straw all ready for me!

Having written a couple of articles for the magazine about my adventures I was very excited to get the opportunity to learn all about how the magazine is produced. June, who is the editor of the magazine, says she likes Minuteman Press because they are local, helpful, friendly and very efficient. In fact I have heard her say that without their help there wouldn’t be an Indie Shaman Magazine as ‘she hadn’t a clue when she started’ and that would have be a great pity as the shamanic lifestyle magazine is pretty popular now! She also likes their ‘environmental policy’ as things like that are very important to Indie Shaman so I am hoping to talk to Peter about what this is and learn a bit more about it.

In the first photo above I am helping one of the graphic design team make sure that the latest edition of Indie Shaman looks crisp and clear and that the colours are as they should be.

After a final few adjustments and a paw to the start button the press roars into life. Yes I started the latest Indie Shaman print-run!

Hot off the press the latest run of Indie Shaman is expertly (following intensive training) supervised by me.

Here I am having a well earned lunch break shared with Tom, Peter’s son and Minuteman Press’s youngest employee. Peter said I do eat a lot of worms but I was happy to share Tom’s food too.

Its pretty tiring learning all about printing but I’ve been having great fun. Next I’m learning about post production checks, bindery and despatch so I’ll be back to blog about them and the all very important environmental policy soon.

In the meantime I've had a telephone call from June who said that she has been learning about Seidr Shamanism which sounds pretty interesting. If you would like to learn more about Seidr June is interviewing Runic John for the next edition of the magazine so send her any questions you have and she could include them in the interview! June can be contacted via Indie Shaman or I don't mind if you post any questions in the comments on here.

With many blessings

(and not very inky paws thanks to all at Minuteman Press!)