The Voynich Manuscript by Jerry Kennedy & Rob Churchill
Hand Me My Travelin’ Shoes by Michael Gray
Forgotten Voices Of The Great War by Max Arthur
and I have just started Life: A Users Manual by Georges Perec
Raag Manifestos by Jack Rose
The Complete Guide To Insufficiency and Boating Disasters by David Thomas Broughton
Apocalypse by Bill Callahan
Molina and Johnson by Molina and Johnson
Farewell Sorrow by Alasdair Roberts
I’ll Never Get Out Of This World Alive by Steve Earle
Valley of Rain by Giant Sand
Ghost Tropic by Songs:Ohia
The Judas Treeby David Welfare
Empty The Sun by Six Organs of Admittance
I haven’t managed to get printing this yet, but it won’t be too long I hope. As I was demonstrating embossing techniques to a student today, I decided to blind emboss one of the blocks, just to see the effect, and I am pretty chuffed with the results!
I deliberately carved out the open spaces and left them quite ‘peaky’ so that a little of the technique would eventually print, but it has worked out really well like this.
The edges are nice and crisp too…
I think it looks a little like architectural moulding. A little, anyway!
What did you do in the war Daddy? Well, I worked in the Ministry of Design producing visual materials to help the war effort. You know, if it wasn’t for our handy guides, we might have allowed Jerry to infiltrate our plucky island with his dashed blackletters!
This post was originally titled ‘Loose Lips Lose Legibility’
Welcome to my semi-regular section on my drawings, ideas and doodles. I draw (in the broadest sense) pretty much everyday; in books, on scraps of paper, the backs of important documents, other people’s stuff, etc and have been putting bits of it aside over the last few months. A lot of it is simply rubbish and has been filed in the round file, but one or two often seem to have something of an idea brewing around them and they just ‘come out.’ It’s a kind of involuntary reaction I guess. Very much likely a visual form of Tourette’s Syndrome.
Some of the things I draw are quite interesting. Some are quite good. Others just ‘are.’ I am not organised enough to be constantly carrying around a particular book, or even consistent enough to fill a book with stuff worth seeing – all of this work was drawn upon whatever was to hand; sometimes books, more often bits of photocopier paper; card offcuts; the back of meeting agendas etc. I have scanned them and superimposed them into an image of a sketchbook just to put them into context – they are not finished pieces, works of art or any form of serious output. It’s the stuff that most of us do, somewhere at some time. The kind of stuff I wish I could fill a sketchbook with.
Every so often I will post a couple of examples, without any explanatory notes or justifications. It’s just another one of the things I do…
I promised that more would follow. So here it is.
After carving the smaller details, the more open parts were quickly removed with broader gouges. Rather than spend a lot of time cleaning up the block, I decided to do a quick test print to check out the result. I was not altogether certain that I had made a consistent job in the curves and on the serifs, and thought it best to have a look, and make any adjustments before going into proper production.
I made the sample prints in the nipping press by inking up parts of the block and making a few pulls on different areas. I will be printing this on a much larger press eventually, but mine will do for proofing.
I was not concerned about the quality of the prints here, but just wanted to get a good look at the edges…
I’m generally pleased with this, but there are a number a small things, like uncomfortable serifs, and a few stray cuts as I have slipped. Oops.
Overall, I am rather pleased with the results, but now need to smooth out some of the larger blank areas and trim the blocks down to size – there are two blocks in total and I am hoping for a reasonable tight register between the colours. Ah. Colours. Not thought that far ahead. Will do a little planning before I get to the print stage…
I’ve been toying around with the idea of a big lino cut print for some time. A while ago I posted a teaser about a big circus poster I was going to do in three colours, but have since decided to screen print due to its complexity. That will be another post! So I decided to pursue another idea, one that I had been fooling around with in my sketchbooks for a while – an idea without an execution…
I wanted to create a swirly, slightly over-elaborated design, along the lines of Neil Young’s Harvest album, but maybe not quite so old-school:
I began by sketching out a few parts of a line that I adapted from a quote by Zuzana Licko; “You read best what you read most” – apart from being a truism in its original form, I believe that the same philosophy can be more liberally applied.
I fiddled around for some time, before accepting a composition. I still was not 100% sold on the details but was prepared to commit to this as a framework to progress from:
Now I have decided to skip the refinement drawings and revisions for the sake of the final impact of the reveal! Needless to say, I revised, redrew and adjusted the drawing before transferring it to the lino. I also made some minor changes as I carbon papered the image, and have not been entirely true to all the lines in the cutting:
More to follow…
I’m not one for deep meaning, sentimental greetings cards (you may have noticed here) and decided to make some cards to send out to friends who I think would appreciate the simplicity of a hand made card.
I decided on a very formal, slightly old-fashioned message using my bold lightly condensed woodtype. I don’t use these enough and wish I could afford some classic serif type to use with them, but ebay has become too expensive for wood type these days, with most fonts being listed with a start price of £70 and going for much, much more. I’m glad I bought these when I did.
Anyway, I run about 20 cards in a light, duck-egg blue, and added a bit of extra colour towards the end to make a rather sickly green which you’ll see in later images.
I also messed about with the inks just before I finished and wiped all the spatulas onto the inkplate, lightly rolling it out to spread it, but leaving it unmixed on the roller, and got this one:
If this looks familiar, I will confess to being inspired by the work of Alan Kitching, whose work I saw at an exhibition in 2009.
A day or two later, when this was fully dry, I mixed up a rich warm red and added a smidgen of white and lots of transparent extender medium for good effect as I offset the second inking of the word ‘happy.’
It has a nice retro quality doesn’t it?
For me, this is absolutely bang on the money. I must say that in the last year or so of printing, this is probably the closest I have got to realising an ‘in-progress’ letterpress printing. By that I mean, something that begins in front of the press (not on screen or in a sketchbook) letting the blocks and the colours influence a very raw and basic idea, led by the fact that I have all of this stuff to hand. A lovely feeling.
I doubt anyone who receives a card will really appreciate this, but I reckon they will understand the time and effort, if not the process, which is good enough for me.
I also did a couple of variations, specifically for individuals, most of whom will have received theirs by now. Happy birthday – you know who you are…