Letterpress, print


I got the urge to print last night. So I did. I decided to try another pull of the woodcut block that I got frustrated with last month, and I desperately wanted to have a play with my new metal type.

I have been trying some new materials to use as press blankets; neoprene foam, a stack of muslin, felts and paper. I was hoping for a miracle change in the quality of the prints, but ended up with a good enough improvement. The foam was too soft, and the muslin didn’t have enough ‘give,’ but about six layers of ordinary felt got the best results. About half a dozen decent prints are hanging up to dry as we speak…

I then scrambled through my new collection of metal founts. I aim to share them via the ‘Meet The family’ thread, but needed to print something other than san serif type for a change! Bodoni Black Italic it is then!

36 points of extravagantly exaggerated thicks and thins, all canted at at a jaunty angle, replete with hairline serifs, triangular crossbars, globular ball terminals and delicate details. Beauty and the beast! I used the nipping press again here so everything is a little heavily pressed, but soon, really soon, I will be running TWO Adana presses! There will be more on this after the weekend when I collect the first one from Northampton.

So I set up  a small block of text based on something I read in a Julian Barnes novel and retrieved the postcards I’ve been overprinting, as well as one or two blanks. I’m really interested in how the ink responds to the different surfaces (on inked and plain surfaces) and rattled off a few images to share on the blog…

As I was taking these, I was reminded of the huge wood type prints by Alan Kitching that I saw late last year. 

This is printed on a particularly heavily over-inked wood type print; I love the joint effect of the slightly raised surface of the over inked pale blue letters with the imprint of the darker letters, and how the ink has reacted and gathered into blotches. So what does it say?

Note to self. Check the b****y spelling before you print. I only noticed this on the morning after. Never mind.

Here is the forme just before it was clean and disassembled…

I also printed some of the blocks I got earlier this month. This has printed really well, despite the heavy impression.

This lion with wheatsheaf block was an illicit Ebay bargain:

Mrs. Lestaret: “You are not buying more of them block things off Ebay are you?”
Me: ” No dear, just looking…”

And I might as well end with a full stop.

Until next time.


4 thoughts on “Letterpressed

    1. Yes, that is really something – an unexpected effect of the earlier over-inking. It is taking a long time to dry though!

      I’m going to do some over printing on coated stock to see if I can force that effect out further…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s