Canadian Art

Interview Between John Snow and Mark Joslin

[To download a PDF of the full interview with Mark Joslin and John Snow, click here.]

February 5, 1988

On securing a discarded press in Calgary in 1953

John Snow:

...I woke up with a real urge to go down and see Mr. Maxie at Western Printing in Calgary just down on 2nd Avenue and 6th or 7th street. So I saw Maxie and he said: "Oh, I think we just tossed out two old presses." So he got Mr. Loney... He said: "oh, yes, we tossed those two old transfer presses for scrap and they are down at Paragon Machine Shop two blocks this way and three that and Maxie said: "Well, if they haven’t been destroyed, you can have the two of them for $15." So I literally ran and here they were. I had never seen a transfer press, no idea of what it looked like at all. Here all this stuff in the back alley, snow and ice. So I got a truck and I picked up every nut and bolt, brought them back here and Mr. Loney came over and said: "Well, this goes here and that there... The Western Printing gave me at least a dozen lithograph stones 14" x 18" most of them and an old roller. So then I went to the Library and got a book on how to do lithography [translation of book by Senefelder] ... I sent away to Winnipeg for ink and had to get some nitric acid and gum Arabic, all the materials you need to work... Laurie Duff ...[who first worked at] Western Printing came over and gave me some advice... So we worked away.

excerpt from an interview with Mark Joslin, February 5, 1988
with kind permission from the representative of the estate of Mark Joslin