Printing day

On Friday my mother and I set about doing some letterpress printing. We had all the card cut to size . . .
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 I might have expressed this before but there's something about little bits of card all the same size that I love. It probably helps that the folks that cut it for me wrap it up all neat in brown paper like the best kind of present. 
I was printing some new cards to have out on my stall, using my Adana.
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It all started very neat, that was soon to change.
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I already have my chase set up from previous cards.
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I use Univers, which is a relative of Helvetica, created in 1957. It's probably a very similar age to the Adana, which pleases me greatly. The minutiae of the type design gets slaughtered in my slap-dash approach to printing (on the Adana at least which doesn't maintain that even a pressure) but I still appreciate it at this stage.
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 First I did a round of red cards. There are many different ways to relieve the monotony of repetition: I chose the jazz-hands jig approach.
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Actually it never really gets monotonous for me, something about it keeps you on your toes for every print. Then I did a round with black ink, you can see the variation and blotchiness that would have Gutenberg turning in his grave, but I really like it. As long as they're all legible.
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 Meanwhile Mum was doing some hardcore printing on my beautiful big Arab press.
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I got him for free from a man down the road - he'd sold it on Ebay twice and both times the people had sent couriers who refused to move it in case of damaging themselves. Then I got in touch and Dad and I trotted down and picked it up.
What fun.
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It runs so incredibly smoothly for such a brute. Look at that saucy fly wheel.
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Using it and all the tools that come with it makes you feel like a bloody hero.
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It lives at my folks house until such a time that I have a dirty great workshop of my own - so if there are any artsy hippy communities out there that want me and my press I'm ready . . . anyone? . . . no?
Oh well.
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We were printing this block from a friend (Catherine), to be used as invitations to A Movable Feast, an event I will post about in the near future.
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We set up the chase, then tilted it and gave it a hearty fingertip knock to make sure it wasn't loose. This is a tactic I developed after a few times setting a whole load of text then picking it up and all the pieces falling onto the floor.
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Then Mum got printing, a few variations at first until we settled on the inking and pressure we liked.
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Catherine came to help hang them all up, which was ideal as Mum and I were covered in a nice even layer of ink.
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It was an especially hot day and Mum was sweating like an orphan in a workhouse so we set up a parasol, which I think looks really fun indoors.
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Before we knew it there were three hundred of the little beauties.
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16 comments:

  1. Oh these are stunners!I would love to try printing with old machinery, it looks like a big loom kind of thing {which I also like very much}. Your cards are the best I've ever seen.

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  2. I love letter press everything!
    It is a dying art, i think. And it is so awesome you got a letterpress machine!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you chaps! I do feel very lucky - it is so nice to have your own machine because going to a letterpress workshop can be a little intimidating.
    And thank you for the very fine compliment Artemis, it means a lot coming from a lady of such splendid taste.

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