Posts Tagged With: Murphys California


Paul Quyle, left, brought his printer friend, Mark, from Campbell, CA. as his guest to meet us last night while we hashed over some CCTV business. Mark is a modern printer and Paul has a printing press from 1899. Paul gathered his type set and molds and showed how it was done in three videos. One of the videos can be seen on the link below, the next two will follow on the same website. Paul is a fascinating person from so many angles its hard to choose one. He is a blacksmith, a master potter, printer, and retired teacher. He studied Marine Biology, art, he took welding classes, saddle making, veterinary medicine. He has a woodworking shop, orchards and gardens.

He entered the printing trade from necessity, to print labels for his clay business instead of tediously hand stamping them. Now, he is a master printer and  has over 120 printers in his collection. But, the 1899 press, one of only 12 in the world, rarely gets used.

Paul, at 82, remembers the days when trade secrets were jealously guarded. If he couldn’t get into a guild, he’d figure out how to do the task himself, whether it was printing, making clay that didn’t explode, building a house or a kiln, he would do it. You forge something, fix something, make your own tools, a philosophy that today seems arcane in a throw-away, assembly line style of doing things. Self sufficiency is as ancient as the rocks where passing on skills to the next generation is the natural order of things. It works for the Quyles where a new generation of family artisans now run the ranch,  a winery, the pottery and continue what Paul started while he still plays with printing and blacksmithing.

People drop in all the time to see the works on Highway 4, just above Murphys, along with the pottery, paintings, glass work, and wine tasting from Bryce Station Winery.

Here students of Paul’s work in his blacksmith shop.

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This little fox had a partner and they both decided to visit my compost bin about 7:00 a.m. this morning. They are quick as shadows and blitzed out of sight whenever they detected a slight movement from the window. I did manage to get this little one before she dashed for the brush, ears alert, listening for danger. I guess I’ll never get beyond the thrill of seeing something wild and beautiful in my yard.

Of course, that includes flowers. These tulips are just opening and stepping into their rightful beauty. Since I have only days left in Murphys before I hit the road again, I can enjoy these lovelies. Along with the bleeding hearts and columbine in the garden.

I’ve had several iris bloom and hopefully I’ll get to see my favorites come out before I leave.

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This was the scene at the edge of town when I drove into Murphys. Its spring, the daffodils have come and gone? The fruit trees are blooming? What’s even worse,  my partner is sitting in Louisiana in 73 degree weather. He isn’t called the weather wimp for nothing.
I’m only pretending to complain about the snow. Its pretty stuff and it melted in about two hours. The very best kind of snow in my opinion.

The inside of the house was frigid, as you might imagine when you see my living room ceiling with sheet rock missing. Pounding rains, while I was on the road,  leaked through a faulty flashing and soaked the ceiling until it turned to mush and gave way. My neighbor, Karen Phillips came in with the mail and luckily discovered it before the damaged ceiling hurt my furniture and flooring. Now, any attempt at heating the house sends heat up through the attic vents.

To deaden the shock, my neighbor brought me a bouquet of roses.

An old friend of mine, Frank Balma used to say “I can fix anything but the break of day or a broken heart.” I have a sweet neighbor and a  pretty smart friend.

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