Another fun thing that happened in January, we had a Friday seminar at the Bow & Arrow Press for Open Letters, a publication of the Graduate School of Design at Harvard. Ten students and the instructors came out and we put together some lovely prints using lead, linoleum and photopolymer.
I posted about the first one back in the spring, and over the summer we did another one, and we have a third in the works. Here are some nice pictures of the first two, since I was taking shots of work at the Press this weekend.
Before and after class at the Bow & Arrow on Saturday I started messing around with my cubes of wood again. This time I started playing with four groups of four blocks, set roughly in lines, and used some graphite ink I’d mixed earlier in the month. I’m really pleased with the silvery color of the graphite mixture, it’s very handsome and layers quite nicely. Some of the earlier runs were too simple, so I added a color progression starting with PANTONE Yellow and adding a rusty red mixture one of my regulars had whipped up for a recent project. The results were interesting:
Four of Four: Graphite Graphite Yellow Orange
Four of Four: Graphite Yellow Orange Red
Four of Four: Multigraphite
Today I taught an engraving/drypoint class, two Crash Courses and some Intermediate and Advanced students in the Bow & Arrow Press. I also took the opportunity to take some press time for myself, and got some artwork accomplished. First up, a type sample project I’d been preparing ever since I found a lead version of my favorite typeface, Akzidenz Grotesk, at Letterpress Things in Chicopee, Massachusetts a couple of weekends ago. It’s called “Standard”, and I found it wrapped up in the boxes that came fresh from the foundry way back in probably 1975 or 1981:
I really needed to get ink on these lovely slugs of lead, so I prepared a stream-of-consciousness text seeded with the word “Standard”, and titled it “Standard Deviations”:
I liked it so well, I’ll probably do some more. (Incidentally, the title is set in Futura Light 36pt, not Standard.)
After that, I needed to run some cube prints, using the new 7/8″ cubes I’d gotten a few weeks back. These cubes are closer to being type-high, so they’d be easier to run on the letterpress. I set up two randomized layouts of 16 cubes each, referencing two grid compositions I did earlier in the fall. For the first run, I did two split fountains, one with black shading to graphite, the other 7459 Blue shading to 481 Tan:
I wasn’t quite satisfied with this layout, although I did run an edition of it. Playing around with the positioning of the cube sets and staying within the blue-tan fountain, I finally found this combination that worked:
So, all-in-all a pretty successful day at the press.
Just for funsies I shot two icosacomposites of the Press during Open Press Night last Thursday. They turned out every bit as awesome as I hoped. Watch for people typesetting, running the press, wandering around, washing their hands, taking in the wonder of it all, and gesticulating. It’s hard to tell people apart but I’m wearing a red shirt with a white bullseye design depicting the orbits of the inner solar system.
Teaching summer school at the Bow & Arrow Press for Harvard was a fun time. Got lots of good students doing all sorts of fun things, and some of them even braved Open Press Night. One of them, a high school student from Korea, was also taking a film class, and produced a documentary about the Press for that class. It’s great! I look and sound like a real professional! Watch it here:
I celebrated Memorial Day by taking some video footage. I set up shop near Harvard Square and Porter Square and got the raw materials for two new icosacomposites, presented herewith:
Our Press Scholar, Gina Trakadis, decided a showcase of all the letterpress done at the Bow & Arrow over the last couple of years would be a good idea. So we got together as many samples as we could, and put them up in the ArtSpace in the Adams House residence hall at Harvard, where the Bow & Arrow Press lives. This would be the first time all of my letterpress tweets have been hung together in one setting. Here’s a photo:
And here’s a 60x time-lapse of the show and reception:
It was a good selection of prints and a great turnout tonight!
We’re doing a Spring Show at the Bow and Arrow Press on Thursday, and in celebration we had people typeset anything they wanted, as long as it was 22 picas wide and about food. Here’s the resulting exquisite corpse, set up on a galley and ready for printing on the SP-20:
I printed it using PANTONE 194 dark red (something close to Harvard crimson), on some awesome paper stock. The head of the dining hall at Adams House comes into the Press to typeset, and she had a box of Fryolator filter paper that wasn’t the right size for the fry machines and had been kicking around for a few years. I cut it down to 12″ x 18″ and it worked wonderfully: