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:
I posted about the conceptual print based on the Swadesh list used in linguistics studies some time back. Well, it’s been printed for a couple of weeks, I just never got around to photographing it. No longer! I might to another photoshoot just to see if I can get the embossing nailed down properly, but this particular shot contains two detail insets with the embossing more prominent. Click to embiggen.
Here’s a new Vertical Spectrum print, done on the Vandercook No. 4 at the Bow and Arrow Press today.
New Layered Spectrum I is a concept print, done in several passes using PANTONE Warm Gray 7, which is somewhat transparent so the depth of the color builds up over time. What’s new about this spectrum, is that I’m doing it with string.
I cut a 7″ x 4″ block out of 0.75″ wood, and put little strips of Masonite on the underside of the outside edges, so it would sit on the pressbed with a gap underneath. The Masonite also elevates the block to about 0.9″, which is very close to type height. I then wrap the wood block with string, using various layers to build up a multilevel surface that tends toward vertical but can vary to about 60 degrees. Since the string extends the surface above type height, but is compressable, it makes a very nice impression on the paper. Making multiple print passes with different wrappings builds up a layered composition on the print of lines of various orientations. What’s nice is that the fibers of the string actually make separate impressions, so each vertical line is also striped. Various tangles and knots also modulate the lines, so it’s not as geometric as could be.
I had the idea a couple weeks ago, and built a 7″ x 4″ block and a 8″ x 5″ block to play around with, but didn’t have time to actually wrap string and print until today. I plan to use more colors, use different sizes of string, and even use wires as a different vertical texture.
Here are a couple more letterpress pieces from the Bow and Arrow Press. These were done with the same block; one was printed in an ink mixed from graphite powder and Van Son Transparent White, the other was printed by using PANTONE Yellow and PANTONE 7459 and flipping the block after the color change.
I’d played around with lino blocks at the Bow and Arrow a couple months ago, and completely forgot I ran this one as an edition. So, I finally signed and numbered it, and it’s available to collectors. Look for it on my Etsy page.
I dug up my jar of powdered graphite recently, and figured, hey, we have transparent white at the Bow and Arrow for mixing purposes, maybe it would work as a pigment base? And it was so. Of course, once I mixed it up, I had to print something with the graphite ink, so I did a little piece celebrating carbon:
Four Natural Allotropes of the Element Carbon
I’ll do a numbered edition of 27 for this one, so if anyone’s interested in purchasing a piece, let me know. I also did some one-offs, just messing around with the type on the press, and this one was amusing:
I’m a star! Or something resembling a star. Or maybe some students in a J-Term filmmaking class came to the Bow and Arrow Press and shot a bunch of footage of me pontificating about type and turned it into a short film. Cool!
I sent off for the plates today, so here’s a preview of a new letterpress edition I will be producing at the Bow and Arrow Press in the next couple of weeks:
This will be printed on 20″ x 13″ Lettra 220# fluorescent white paper. The light gray words will not be printed, they will be embossed on the paper. There will be 27 members in the edition. Price has not yet been set. Email if interested!
It’s that time again, time for the 11th annual Minumental show at New Hampshire Institute of Art! This is a school-wide show, and each piece can be no more than 2″ x 2″ (x 2″, for 3D work). Here are the two pieces I’m including in this year’s show:
Letterpress Alphabet Sampler Based on Locus of Articulation, similar to this one, but smaller.
And a very tiny random walk, similar to this one, but done on paper with pencil.