Uncategorized

It’s time to move on…

wp_20170108_13_16_33_pro

All things must come to an end. I’ve been here at Lestaret Towers since December 2008 -2008! Crikey. Some of you have been with me from the beginning, and I still get new followers signing up, even when I don’t post regularly.

As I type this, there are 215 of you signed up on WordPress, and I would like to thank each and everyone of you for your interest and enthusiasm. I’m genuinely humbled by this.

Since 2008 I have published 632 posts which have been viewed 270,764 times by 66,573 people. Those last two numbers are astonishing to me and I am unable to visualise them in any sort of scale that makes them easier to understand.

I have recorded visitors from pretty much everywhere too, many of you who probably read through GoogleTranslate or something and find some of the stuff I have written rather odd. I know this because I have translated a few posts into other languages and retranslated them back into English – and as you expect, the results can be interesting!

or in Japanese:
GoogleTranslateなどで読んだことがあり、私がかなり奇妙なことを書いたものを見つけた多くの方々からの訪問者を記録しました。私はいくつかの投稿を他の言語に翻訳し、英語に翻訳し直したので、これを知っています。あなたが期待したように、結果は面白いかもしれません!

and retranslated back:
I’ve read something with GoogleTranslate etc. and recorded the visitors from many people who found something I wrote quite odd things. I translated some posts into other languages and translated them back into English, so I know this. As you expected, results may be interesting!

Hours of fun.

But its not over. All that is here will remain for posterity, but I will now be blogging over on my website www.lestaret.com and I would like to invite you all to drop by sometime and maybe even sign up to follow me there. You will be made most welcome.

So thanks everybody, and see you over at my new place soon.

Chris

Advertisements
Design, music

Sleevage Sunday #14

cassetteSleevage Sunday is where I once shared selections from my old but rediscovered vinyl collection. Music has always been an important part of my life, but so was the packaging. In my formative years I would carefully study every inch of the cover, read every sleevenote, credit and publishing blurb so that the visual qualities of these records became intrinsically linked with the music, so that even now when I hear an old song I also get the imagery too! Alas, much of this will fall upon younger heads whose only visual link with their music is the tiny thumbnail on their iPod…

However, I am now going to feature some older stuff from my father’s collection. Some of these will raise a smile or an eyebrow, considering that many were the biggest music stars of the 1950’s and 60’s. We’ll begin with another casualty of 2016, Bobby Vee:

lestaret-sleevage-14dlestaret-sleevage-14elestaret-sleevage-14flestaret-sleevage-14a lestaret-sleevage-14b lestaret-sleevage-14c

How times change…

For those of you who are not familiar with this scale of 7″ singles I have put it into a scale most people will understand!

7-vinyl-scale-2

Images

New Directions?

flatlands-1

Some experimental mixed media landscapes I have been working on recently…

flatlands-2

I won’t say too much about them at this point, but I am stepping out of my comfort zone a little here and trying something new…

stuff'n'fluff

Oh, hello again!

LESTARET-kent

Hello. Sorry I’ve not been very active on my blog recently. No real excuses, but I have been very busy, and just had a little family holiday down south with Mrs. Lestaret, my daughters Upper and Lower Case, and of course, Devo the dog. I would have posted a nice family photo here if they would have let me, but instead I’ll make do with Devo at the White Cliffs of Dover…

LESTARET-kent-devo

I’ll get back to some regular blogging now…

Images, Uncategorized

Secrétan

A couple of months ago I went to the auctions with my friend Pete (who I got my perforator from) and came home with what I consider to be a little bargain.

It is two volumes of prints of paintings from the collection of Eugène Secrétan, the nineteenth century French industrialist who made his fortune in copper production. Unfortunately for him, his immense fortune did not last and his large collection of paintings , sculptures, furniture and objet d’art were sold at auction to pay off his debts – these books are, in effect, auction catalogues.

LESTARET-secretan-1

They are quite big (15⅞ x 11⅜” – 381 x 279mm) and are composed of loose sheets taped into pairs and sewn, covered with a light brown card jacket, folded over the front and back leaves. Essentially unbound, but I have since seen a few copies on the web that have been bound in leather.

The text is beautifully set in a variety of metal type and letterpressed throughout. The paper is a heavy smooth stock, which I estimate is about 220gsm and has some yellowing and foxing around the edges, as well as a little water damage here and there.

LESTARET-secretan-2LESTARET-secretan-3LESTARET-secretan-4

The first few text pages are quite heavily printed and wonderfully tactile. I know this will have the purists screaming, but I like it.

LESTARET-secretan-5

Each page has a tissue mask tipped in, covering the print beneath:

LESTARET-secretan-6

And followed with a description.

LESTARET-secretan-7LESTARET-secretan-8LESTARET-secretan-9

The prints are photogravure – hand printed from copper plates (how ironic) that had been coated with light sensitive chemicals and acid etched. This allows for good reproduction of fine detail and subtle continuous tones, perfect for art prints.

LESTARET-secretan-10

The majority of the prints clearly show the impression of the plate.

LESTARET-secretan-15

LESTARET-secretan-11LESTARET-secretan-12

Each print is of a different size that follows the proportions of the originals, but to give you an idea of the scale, the image below measures 8⅝ x 6⅜” (203 x 152mm)

LESTARET-secretan-13LESTARET-secretan-14

There are two volumes in all and they are missing a few prints each, but not many. And the price? £9. Bargain.

I’ll post another selection soon…

exhibitions, Letterpress, Uncategorized

A Grand Day Out

It’s been a very busy few weeks over here at Lestaret Towers, so last Friday I took off into the beautiful Suffolk countryside with my friend and fellow designer Jodie Cole to go to the Lettering Arts Centre at Snape Maltings for a bit of inspiration.
LESTARET-KITCHING-1
The Centre is home of the Lettering and Commemorative Arts Trust  and is currently host to an exhibition of the work of the legendary letterpress artist and designer, Alan Kitching. The exhibition included a selection of his work spanning his career that followed his unexpected departure in 1988 from his role at Omnific Studio Partnership with Derek Birdsall and Martin Lee where he had set up a letterpress studio in 1976.

LESTARET-KITCHING-2
The wonderful Jodie outside the exhibition

There are of course some familiar images included in the exhibition; the broadsides and typographic maps especially, which are even more spectacular in the flesh due to their scale – about A1 size!
LESTARET-KITCHING-3LESTARET-KITCHING-4LESTARET-KITCHING-5
As well as the more recognisable prints from his archive, there were also a number of little gems – mockups and markups and the like, as well a little pile of ‘make-readies’ – offcuts of paper and card used to slip under worn type to raise the surface to type height. These are little things that will be hugely familiar to anyone has experienced letterpress printing, and it is comforting to see the evidence of this wonderfully low tech and time-proven method.LESTARET-KITCHING-6
LESTARET-KITCHING-7
Jodie was as impressed as I was, and I had seen many of these prints a few years ago at an exhibition in London, but there were prints here I had not seen, as well as items from his own archive.LESTARET-KITCHING-8I had also booked us a couple of places at a talk by the man himself in the evening, and we took our seats amongst a small number of others in the exhibition space itself, which made for a very intimate experience!

Kitching was interviewed and prompted to discuss all kinds of issues and subjects, where he gave very personal and honest responses as well as answering questions. He also hung around afterwards to chat with people, and Jodie collared him for a photo. Fangirl!LESTARET-KITCHING-9The exhibition is to promote a new Monograph by John L. Walters (Laurence King) published next year. There were some copies for sale at the event so I had to indulge myself!
LESTARET-KITCHING-10
LESTARET-KITCHING-11I even got my copy signed! Fanboy!LESTARET-KITCHING-12At the end of the talk, he offered out a range of letterpress post cards, of which this is my favourite…
LESTARET-KITCHING-13
Good times. Many thanks to the Lettering and Commemorative Arts Trust for putting on such a great exhibition, and also to the man himself, for being so gregarious and not anything like the unapproachable grump I had mistakenly understood him to be!

Also, many thanks to Jodie who was great company – and who generously stood in when I forgot my PIN number when I was trying to buy the book! (It’s an old trick, but it never fails!)

Design, ephemera

Beermattery #6

LESTARET-beermat-50

Further foraging in my fathers beermat collection has produced another collection, this time focussing on a drop of the harder stuff…

LESTARET-beermat-51 LESTARET-beermat-52 LESTARET-beermat-53 LESTARET-beermat-54 LESTARET-beermat-55 LESTARET-beermat-56 LESTARET-beermat-57 LESTARET-beermat-58 LESTARET-beermat-59 LESTARET-beermat-61

Darts Legend Jocky Wilson
Darts Legend Jocky Wilson

Pony was a brand of British Cream Sherry that was strangely popular during the 1970’s but like many things from 1970’s Britain, it didn’t survive. It did manage a surreal darts sponsorship though – and this was back in the day when even championship darts was played in working mens clubs by usually non-working men who spent an extraordinary amount of time training their darts/drinking arm and smoking a lot to the traditional cry of “Gud Arrers!’ Those were the days…

LESTARET-beermat-60LESTARET-beermat-62 LESTARET-beermat-63

 

Unlike many of the  brewers that have featured on these beermats, all of these (except for the sherry of course) are still going strong. Cheers.

More beermattery next time…