Letterpress Loves Lasers

Yesterday morning I spent some time with Brett Blaisdell, owner/operator of the big-ass laser at Smug Labs. My mission was to test the capability of Brett’s Epilog laser to engrave wood type. The Book Arts Program generously donated a plank grain maple board from Art Boards for the experiment.

I had little time but knew I wanted to try a chromatic design, so for expediency I used Adobe’s Zebrawood, a digital font comprised of glyphs based on Doric and Doric Ornamented.

I cut the first two characters from the block using the Book Arts Program’s Hammond Glider. For safety reasons, I chose not to take photographs of me operating the saw.

I trimmed the blocks to 12 line. Then using magnets, I locked up the solid (Doric) letter L on a galley, along with two star rules for roller bearers, and hand inked the block for a proof.

The first proof of the laser engraved, 12 line Doric L.

Locking up the Doric Ornamented and inking in black for a chromatic effect.

Not bad for a first proof. More experiments to come, stay tuned.