Sunday, 14 September 2014

Typing on a leaf

Wonderful typewriter workshop at the Museum in the Park in Stroud yesterday, playing on machines old and very old, creating typewriter art & poetry, or just recording random thoughts. We also performed a typewriter musical composition (which was recorded live) using the fantastic sounds generated by the machines in action. Forgot how hard you need to stab at typewriter keys.
I ended up typing on leaves. It will be interesting to see what happens as the leaves dry.
Thank you to Andrew Morrison for organising the event.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014


2 days of letterpress at LENvention2 (see in Cheltenham, making a book inspired by a beautiful poem written by Elizabeth Willow entitled 'Because' about the why of letterpress. This poem plays magically with the terminology & sometimes obscure vocabulary of letterpress. The construction of the book was devised by Rachel Marsh.

We were each given 2 lines from the poem to work with. My lines were:

Because of winters and coffins and slugs

Because each page is a poem

Good to work collaboratively and to start and (almost) finish a project from scratch in 2 days.

Monday, 4 August 2014

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Missing U

Following on from the January 18th post: With an Illustrator eps file of the U, I had the letter (314 mm tall) outline engraved in lino by laser, & cut away the excess by hand. It was very satisfying to have the precise line of the engraved line to cut up to. This lino-cut U will stand out as being very smooth in contrast to the wood grain textures of the other wooden letters in this font.
I next got 22mm deep off-cuts of hard wood (afromosia & sapele) from a joinery workshop and booked a session with the UWE CNC (computer numerical control) router. This used the same illustrator file as the laser machine.
We used a 4mm routing cutter. This size was determined by the width of the gap between the 2 serifs. The cut depth was set at 5mm, and this was done in 3 steps: 2 + 2 + 1mm to avoid stress on the cutter & possible over-heating. The wood was fixed on the cutting bed in a block of MDF. At the first attempt, the wood moved in the block, so the first and second cuttings became mis-aligned.
At the second attempt (using the other side) the wood was fixed much more tightly in a block of MDF. It took about 45 minutes to cut.
There are no sharp corners in the U, so no finishing issues. I want to cut an A next, so the interior pointed apex will have to be cut by hand.
I made a first (OK) print of the U without having varnished the print surface with shellac, but I plan to shellac finish all the other letters.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Damaged fruit salvaged

Following on from the previous post: The digital print & letterpress combination initially went wrong because having worked out how to centre the digital printed orange, I left far too much newsprint packing under the printing paper, so the rollers on the Vandercook jammed half-way through printing. In pulling the paper back out, the top print surface of the orange was scuffed & marked. Playing around with a lino-cut type-high lower case 'a', I overprinted on the orange to hide the scuffs.
I finished by printing a large red 'o' (for orange) over the whole lot.

I like the fact that the wooden type, having been pushed too tightly into the paper to print, has made an embossing effect high-lighted by the overprinting.