Worry Lines

This past Monday I finished some A9 showcards for an upcoming exhibit of drawings by my incredibly talented friend, Mary Toscano. I handset the type for the first run using 10 and 24 Cloister Light Face, cast by The Dale Guild.

I chose a warm brown, straight from the can, for the first color.

The type was set on a 50 pica line to make registering the second color, also set on a 50 pica line, faster and easier.

Few things rival the beauty of carefully spaced Roman capitals.

Due to the angles, placing the type high brass rules presented a challenge. I really love the creative problem solving required to letterpress print from metal and wood type and rules. Here’s my on-the-fly solution. I laid a thin sheet of paper over a laserprinted comp and traced the lines representing the brass rules. I placed the tracing paper on the press bed and used strong magnets to secure the brass rules directly on top of the traced lines. Voila!

Mary’s drawings have an anxious, compelling energy about them. And wavy rules seemed appropriate for a show titled Worry Lines.

Mixing the “salmon” pink for the final run required combining four inks; opaque white, yellow, transparent tint base, and warm red. I was also relying on the Cream Rives BFK to warm up the final color.

Despite hours (no exaggeration) of cleaning the 14 and 18 point Franklin Gothic I set by hand for the final run, I could not get consistently clean prints. The transparent pink kept getting muddy. To avoid ruining the entire edition, I improvised and made a photopolymer plate.

The finished prints. I printed the A9 cards two-up on 8.5 x 11 inch sheets then cut the stack in half on the guillotine. I wanted the design to allude to the Into the White showcards I did last year for Mary and Cara Despain.