Page 8 from the American Wood Type Mfg. Co. Catalog No. 36. Free high res download.
sequential pg. 35 (high-res scan here; right click to download)
Combining 70pt and 5pt type in one run is slightly bonkers, but if any paper could hold the delicate curves and extravagant swashes of Elegy, Mohawk Superfine would certainly be it. Check out Alyson Kuhn’s write-up about the production of what looks to be an exquisitely printed broadside: In the thin of it: Patrick Reagh’s letterpress tribute to Elegy
Detail of the Elegy Broadside, photo from Felt & Wire
AAA Extra Fancy
The finished prints stacked to dry. Like the rest of the prints made for this show, available for your viewing pleasure at Alchemy through July 11, this was printed on Mohawk Superfine, Smooth, White, 100lb. cover.
Printed onto 9 x 19.75 inch sheets of Mohawk Superfine, Smooth, White, 100lb. cover using (top to bottom) 20 line Antique XX Condensed, 20 line Tuscan Antique, and 20 line French Clarendon. The borders are No. 156 and No. 157, die-stamped wood type borders from the Wm. H. Page Wood Type Co.
Hyperbole For Sale
I finally found an appropriate use for Lydian Bold Italic! The stars are 5 line wood, printed in metallic silver; the arrow is a vintage linocut, purchased from Dave Churchman, it measures approximately 15 inches long.
I’ll let you in on a little secret. I had intended the arrow to point in the other direction, but when working on three or four prints simultaneously mix-ups like this happen. I’m glad it did. I like the opposing directional movement of the arrow and the Lydian Bold Italic. The print measures 19.75 x 9 inches and is printed on Mohawk Superfine, Smooth, White, 100lb. cover.
Into the White: second run lockup
This run of black utilized four 1-point rules and four sizes of Alternate Gothic , 36 and 18 for the artist’s names, and 24 and 14 for the gallery and location. Despite having set up this run before leaving the studio last night, I encountered very similar issues during printing today. In addition to the type being extremely worn and requiring copious makeready, I suspect the paper I used, French Smart White, was not playing nice with the ink. Maybe there’s a sizing in it that some of the other French papers don’t have? I’ve printed countless projects on Speckletone and Frostone (RIP), and never experienced any trouble with ink transfer. Just like yesterday, I had way more ink on the press than I normally would, I had to use a heavier impression than I feel comfortable with, I had to trip twice, going very slowly, and print in what felt like slow motion for the entire run. But in the end the prints turned out pretty well and Mary seemed quite pleased.
Into the White: finished prints
I spent twelve hours in the Book Arts Studio yesterday working on a showcard for an upcoming art show by my very talented friend and coworker, Mary Toscano. The last three hours I worked in the dark because the lights to the fourth floor of the library were shut off. Take my word for it, letterspacing handset type in the dark is not easy. Fortunately, I took some photos of the first of two runs before the lights went out. I’ll be returning at noon today to print the second run.
Into the White: first run lockup
The title of the show, “Into the White,” is set in 72 and 36 point Alternate Gothic No. 1, the dates are set in Franklin Gothic, with a 1 point thick by 6 pica wide brass rule for the dash.
Into the White: first run on the drying rack
The first run was printed with metallic silver from Gans Ink. I’ve printed dozens of projects using metallic silver, but before moving to Salt Lake City, I had always used Van Son inks. I never encountered problems with Van Son metallic inks like I experienced last night with the Gans. It was almost like the ink was allergic to the type; it did not want to stick. I found that I had to add significantly more ink to the press than I felt prudent, and I had to trip (ink the form) and print at half-speed. After deducing the solution – printing with antique wood and metal type is about 90 percent problem solving – the first run went pretty well, though very slowly.
Second form locked up
After printing the first color (PMS 7474 U) yesterday, I placed the type for the second color into the form, removed the type from the first run, and locked it up. So all I had to do this morning was mix the red (PMS 186 U), put it on the press and go. Except it didn’t quite work out that way. The first proof onto newsprint revealed a problem… a significant wound mysteriously showed up on the six line triangle I placed near the head of the press (see image below).
I’ve used this triangle numerous times and that gaping wound was definitely not there. But as I looked over the type, the bed of the press, the cylinder, feed board, etc., I could find no cause and quite frankly I was distraught. This is the only six line triangle I have and now it’s scarred for life.
Despite my distress, I had to finish the poster so I replaced the damaged block with an eight line triangle. As I tripped to ink the form, I noticed a lump under the mylar drawsheet. To my horror I discovered that a piece of metal spacing material was trapped under the tympan. Fortunately, I made this discovery before ruining yet another block.
With the spacing material removed from under the draw sheet, and after triple-checking the rest of the cylinder packing, I finished the run without further problems.
Lightening Strikes Twice
A detail photo so you can see the sweet lighting bolt dividers.
A local musician, Glade Sowards, commissioned me to print posters for an upcoming concert (April 1st at Urban Lounge, SLC). The design I decided on required the type to be printed in two colors at a ten degree angle. So I cut some scrap binder’s board to create an “angle chase” on the bed of the immaculate Vandercook SP20 at the Book Arts Studio. In addition to the ad hoc chase, I wedged furniture to ensure the form was tight and wouldn’t move.
The first match color on the slab.
First run on the drying racks
Check back tomorrow to see the completed poster.