Maker Faire Bay Area 2011: Pam DeLuco’s ‘typefacebook’ made a great impression

[Alyson Kuhn] The sixth annual Maker Faire Bay Area (May 21–22, 2011) was the biggest yet: hundreds and hundreds of DIY-delirium-inducing projects, demos and devices. Felt & Wire friend Pam DeLuco’s clever typefacebook project inspired many, many excited folks to “set their status” in lead type. The judges loved Pam’s papery parody of Facebook — awarding her project two Editor’s Choice blue ribbons.

Pam DeLuco hand-cut and appliquéd denim letters for her banner. Let’s face it: She’s obsessed! Photo: LisaRuth Elliott.

Pam and her team of volunteers explained to participants that making a book is a commitment and that it would take 20–45 minutes to complete the project, from “setting their status” in lead type, to printing a cover on a little tabletop letterpress, to stitching their cover and pages, to re-filing their lead type in the California job case. Typefacebook had plenty of takers — all of whom took home their very own handbound book.

The little silhouettes, made of magnesium, are a retro reference to Facebook photos. What was on most people’s minds was how much time it takes to set a line or two or three of lead type.

Compose yourself: Choose tiny lead letters one at a time, then put them in the composing stick. Photo: Yvonne Israel-O’Hare.

Normally, only one person takes type from a California job case at a time. The friendly scene at the Maker Faire was a bit like an all-you-can-set buffet at a type bar.

The title and “What’s on your mind?” were letterpress printed in advance. Photo: Yvonne Israel-O’Hare.

Pam locks it up: Two (and sometimes three) status updates share a chase. Photo: Bonnie Cohen.

What’s in a name? Lots of letters. It’s easy to forget one, such as the h in Theresa, or even to select the wrong one (“donnie” is actually “bonnie”). Most people were great sports about their typos. And Homer Simpson’s quote is even funnier with alcohol misspelled.

Photo: Bonnie Cohen

Judge Collin Cunningham (right, above), certified super-geek for Make magazine, presented Pam (center) with an Editor’s Choice blue ribbon on behalf of the Maker Faire. Terri Stone (in the sunhat), editor of, made a book and wrote a great story about Pam’s project. Jennifer Wills (left, with camera) took terrific close-ups for Terri’s post. Jennifer made a book, too.

Setting type can be confusing, frustrating, amusing and exhilarating. Imagine how surprised someone must have been when his perfectly composed “oh smile this morning” (above left) printed out backwards! And how clever of someone to set a smiling emoticon (above right) out of lead type!

Bind your book: Thread the needle, stitch in, stitch out, tie off the ends. Ta-DAH! Photo: Yvonne Israel-O’Hare.

Typefacebook covers were printed on three different colors of Mohawk Loop Antique Vellum (80# Cover, 50% pcw). Pam and her crew taught everyone the Loop lingo, so people knew to ask for Chili (red), Mango (orange) or Thai Gold (chartreuse). The interior pages are Mohawk Loop Antique Vellum Chalk (80# Text, 100% pcw).

Pam’s second blue ribbon was an Editor’s Choice award from judging bloggeristas Meg Allan Cole and Lish Dorset of Craft magazine.

Pam DeLuco recently wrote for Felt & Wire about making denim paper. Her first guest post was about the Combat Paper Project.

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