The Devil’s Paintbrush by Jake Arnott
The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies Of The Apocolypse by Robert Rankin
Death At Intervals by José Saramago
Wake Up by Tim Pears
You Are Not A Stranger Here by Adam Haslett
Music For Egon Schiele by Rachel’s
People’s Instinctive Travels And Paths Of Rhythm by A Tribe Called Quest
No Quarter by Robert Plant & Jimmy Page
Tourist and Boulevard by St.Germain
11:11 by Rodrigo Y Gabriela
Beachcombers Windowsill by Stornoway
Invisible Fields by Iarla Ó Lionáird
Document, Green and Out Of Time by R.E.M.
Person Pitch by Panda Bear
Room on Fire by The Strokes
Never Mind The Bollocks by The Sex Pistols
Smash It Up: The Damned Anthology
Up Above My Head by Sister Rosetta Tharp
King Of The Surf Guitar by Dick Dale And His Del-Tones
I have had this dried seed head sitting in the garage since last year (another one of my printmaking to-do projects) and rediscovered it the other day whilst looking for something else. I had originally thought about making collograph prints from it, and set about making a plate. First I flattened it in the nipping press, which removed most of the seeds and leaving lots of little stalks. This was then glued and varnished to seal it. I forgot to photograph the plate before it got inky, but here’s what it looks like now:
In the end, I decided to make a sort of collograph/relief print as I am not really set up for collograph prints. So I hand inked the plate, and wiped off the excess, and printed on damp paper as you would with collograph printing. I did 10 prints in total, but four are really good:
And I had tested my press for collograph pressure by blind embossing, which is just printing without the ink I suppose…
There are no photos of the process as I was pretty grubby wiping the inky plate and just concentrated on the job in hand, but I have since taken a few nice close ups…
I bought this fantastic copper top block of a ‘printers fist’ during the winter and have been looking forward to using it. It’s quite big – 116mm from cuff to fingertip and fits snugly into the bed of the Adana 3-5, with just a bit of extra packing behind it to raise it up to type-high.
I made a few test prints a few days ago and although I did not get a really good print, I think I will with a little more packing. These light prints are very encouraging though!
So, to get things moving and give myself something to work to, I began cutting a lino block to use as a background colour:
The idea is to cut away the area of the card in the hand and the cuff. I am also considering making some cuts into the hand area too, but will leave that for later.
I was playing with pale yellows and greens, adding a little extra ink to the inkplate to give each one a slightly different colour.
I ran about a dozen postcards just with the colour block, along with a few for registration set up. I couldn’t help myself trying it out on one of my earlier test prints.
Not bad for guesswork registration! You can see the green ink overprinting the black on the image below – I used some extender medium to give the ink some transparency, but when I print the fist on top of the colour block there will be much more contrast.
Just like the one below! I am writing this post over several days – for me, this is now the third day I have worked on this! The setting up of the press was a little more problematic than I first realised. I had printed the background lino block on the nipping press and was using the Adana 3-5 for the copper top block. It took quite a lot of adjusting to get anywhere near to register…
And then realising that I had not been terribly accurate printing the background, I went for a ‘close as I can get’ approach and embraced the Japanese principle of Wabi-sabi to its full extent.
I was near enough on most prints and not exact on any. Wabi-Sabi, innit?
Most people who are involved in letterpress and craft printing tend to appreciate things like the ‘printerly’ effect of under-inking and a little mis-registration. I do anyway.
Pop quiz: What do you get after a session printing blue fingers?
Anyway, the next day I set some type – 24pt Franklin Gothic Bold – I don’t have a full set of this, but just enough for a few little jobs…
So, of all the things I could have put in there, why ‘oops!’ Was it about the registration?
No. I printed them all upside down. If you look carefully, you can see the impression in the centre of the card!
I have recently been photographing my collection of old cameras, and was mightly pleased with the results, especially seeing the thumbnails after transferring them from camera to computer:
The first selection of bigger images from this set can be found on my other blog right now! It is a blog dedicated to typography. Not snobby typography, but the ordinary stuff that we encounter everyday. Go on, if you’ve got this far, I think you’ll enjoy it. Go see. It’s ok - I’ll still be here when you get back…
Regular visitors may recall this post on my collection of old boiler plates. I had made moulds from them around that time, but a number of changes to our workshops meant that they were put aside until normal service was resumed. I did actually cast a couple in white stoneware slip and these were bisque fired, but I forgot about them until they were handed to me recently!
Well, faced with some unglazed ceramic typography, the only decent thing to do was to glaze them. This one was dipped in College Blue glaze and then wiped to allow the raised letting to become ‘reversed’ from the background colour.
This one was not cast so well but I liked the distressed feel so much I splashed over some Tenmoku and wiped off with my hand whilst it was drying. This has created a gooey, grease-like quality to the glaze, especially where it has been left thicker between the lettering…
I successfully bought these coins on eBay recently. I’m really no numismatist, and just can’t get seem to excited about the new £5 coin, but I did get rather excited about these.
All I know about them is from their eBay description – “4x coins of Sultans of Kashmir Ibrahim shah Muhammad shah” and are probably from between 1450-1550. The split image above shows front and backs and is quite large to show the detail and patina.
Of course, I bought them because I was immediately attracted by the asemic quality of the markings, and I have already begun to draw them and incorporate these marks into other elements of my work.
I also bought this other coin in another sale (I went a little coin mad!) which dates from around 985-1014AD. It is called a ’Rajaraja Cholas – AE MASSA MN’ and there is some information about the coin here and information about the Cholas here if you are interested.
I just love the markings. I find that their intricacy and unfamiliarity is creatively inspiring; their forms being extrinsic from their original meanings. They are remarkably well-preserved and bear the erosion of hundreds of years of human handling very well.
All of these coins are tiny, none more than 20mm in diameter and all made of copper. I have not decided what I will do with these, but for now I will just keep them around and allow them to inspire and infiltrate other things…
I also bought this 1925 2 Annas coin. I’m not sure why, but something about it made me go back a couple of times.
Of course, I like the indian writing and the unusual shape, but I also like how the word ‘India’ had been fitted into the bottom corner…
This 2 Rupee coin was given to me recently by a friend on his return from India. It has none of the mystique and romance of the older coins, but looks a lot older that the one above!
Ok. I was on a spree. I also bought these 1973 Chinese rice tokens. Mrs. Lestaret has since revoked my eBay privileges!
There are 25 mint condition notes – apparently these are smallest currency/notes to be circulated. I don’t know much about these either, but have found a little information here.
Again, these are tiny – just 72mm and the detailing is superb: