Saturday, August 13, 2011

Wood Type Print

Fooled around again today with my mismatched wood type.  I couldn't think of anything to print so I used the name of a friend who has a little pottery home business.  I'll mail her a copy she can tack to her wall.  (Or not.)

Here's the lockup.  It took a while to puzzle together because the type is odd-sized and some of the corners aren't square.  The lines aren't straight but it's pretty close.  Even if I wanted to use one font I don't have enough of any of the fonts to fill out all the letters I needed.

The wood type really shows you where you missed the ink.  (Or the type is low.)  I meant to keep running copies without inking before I finished, just to get that old-fashioned distressed look, but I forgot.  Plus I ran out of paper...  Here's some copies:

And a close-up of probably the best copy:

There are some problems.  The letters aren't straight - "pottery" has kind of a tilt to it.  I need more space between "girl" and "pottery" but I really didn't have room in the chase to add much more, but I should have added what I could.  I could have brought "dirty" down so it was closer to "girl" but the "y" extends down so far I would have had to push it up above the line.  And the centering is off.  What else? The curl in the "y" doesn't show up well because it's broken and been repaired with a couple of small nails.  I guess I could have packed some paper under that spot.

But since I'm just fooling around I don't feel too guilty.  The best part is probably the funky "r" in "Girl."

Sunday, August 7, 2011


Took some pictures of my type today.  I have only one metal typeface - a 24 point that I don't know the same of.  It's a pretty straightforward design.  I have a couple of old type trays and sorted this type into the tray a few weeks ago.  It probably needs a good cleaning too.

And at the Big Flea in Chantilly recently I picked up some scattered wood type - they were selling it by the letter, no complete sets.  It took two evenings to clean it all - there are probably a hundred pieces. Here are some representative examples.

And yesterday I spent a couple of hours setting up a little postcard.  I found some old blank postcards I had, a heavy 140 lb paper made for watercolors (which I never did).  And I bought this old cut on eBay that I couldn't resist - a vintage doctor or chiropractor.

And today I did the printing.

Of course after I printed it I wanted to change the caption, but too late.  Two possibilities that might be an improvement:  "You see Mr. Scott, chiropractors have certain needs..." or "Uncomfortable moments in chiropractic care:  Number 1"

It was hard getting the inking even because the wood type "m" seemed to be a little bit higher in the bed than the metal type so the type around the m like the c in chiropractor and the first set of quotation marks didn't get enough the first couple of tries.  I don't know if the wood "m" works here but I just wanted to use some wood type since I just got it.  Anyway, it was fun.  Except for cleaning the brayer - there's got to be a better way.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

First run

OK  - here is the first run of the press.

I am doing a prop card for Briar Press to register my (hobby) press.  I did a very large card, rather than business card size, since my only type is 24 point it just looked better.

Things learned:

  • That rubber ink is rubbery.
  • It's hard to ink with a brayer evenly and without getting ink in places you don't want it.
  • It's really hard to clean a brayer - I never did get it really clean.
  • I had a typo on the first run of course.
  • My text didn't line up absolutely square - the bottom lines appear to be at an angle.
  • It was fun though.

Inked up

Very first fun - Winchester lacks an e and way too much ink.

Some corrected copies

Sunday, July 10, 2011

First Lockup

Pictures of my first lockup below.  I'm trying to do a simple prop card so I can register with Briar Press.  Finished too late to actually ink and run - it took 90 minutes just to get this far.  But I enjoyed it.

The prop card just contains my name, press name, address, type of press and a silly motto and cut that I stuck in there for fun.  I only have 4 cuts so not much to choose from.  I didn't have enough small spacers or furniture (or I couldn't figure out how to set it up with what I have) so I cheated and used some of the type to make up the difference around the cut.

Also I mistakenly ordered spacers for 12 point and my typeface is 24 point.  Whoops.

Thursday, June 30, 2011


I finally am getting all the supplies I need.  I've got the galley plate I need and Letterpress Things has put everything else (except the ink - they were out) in the mail.

Hopefully I can start playing around this weekend.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Hatch and Globe Posters

Here are the posters I bought at the MICA event.  A Hatch Show Print "Dog Jog 5k" poster:

And a nice Globe Muddy Waters / Howling Wolf combo:

Also, another antique mall purchase - this nice old tramp art hanging magazine rack, which I intend to use for the dog leashes and hat and gloves.  (My hat and gloves, not the dogs'.)  Only $11, and a nice size - nearly two feet from top to bottom.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Jim Sherredan at MICA

I drove to Baltimore yesterday to see Jim Sherredan of Hatch Show Print speak at Maryland Institute College of Art.  MICA has purchased the stock of a local letterpress company, Globe Poster.  A student group, Friends of Globe, was there in force, selling posters and I signed up as a friend and bought a couple of posters.

Here's a Hatch poster:

And a Globe:

Sherredan did a slideshow and he is a great speaker - go see him if you ever get a chance.  Really made me want to get started messing around with my press.  And maybe even carve some lino blocks...