Here’s a quick cellphone shot of my new letterpress piece, “The Sounds of English”:
The gray line in the middle represents all of the sounds used in the English language as coded through the International Phonetic Alphabet. The top and bottom lines, the title of the piece in the IPA and in English orthography, are supposed to be 342 green, but the color didn’t really come through. The 26 letters we use in the alphabet that may or may not correspond to any particular speech sound are embossed behind the IPA symbols, but that particular detail is even harder to see here.
I’ll edition these on Sunday, and will get a better shot then, but I figured I’d post this now.
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.
Snapshot of the broadside I ran for the founding of the Seamus Heaney suite at the Adams House residence hall at Harvard. Heaney, an Irish poet, was a well-known guest at the House during the 80s and 90s, and his favorite suite is being outfitted in memory of his visits.
Got the new prints up on the Etsy shop. Plenty of other stuff on there, too, but here are the new items (click on the images to go to the shop):
While I was working on “Nominal Chinati” I whipped out some quick runs on the letterpress at the Bow & Arrow just for funsies. These will be posted on my Etsy site as soon as I get good images.
One of my favorite wordsmiths, even though he “only” wrote noir mysteries. 8″x 10″, printed in a mix of Standard Italic 30 pt and 18 pt.
The last week I’ve been busy at work at the Bow & Arrow Press using our Charles Brand intaglio press to print an edition for inde | jacobs gallery in Marfa, TX. Some of my prints are listed here. The gallery is preparing to re-open after a long hiatus, and these prints will be available at the “soft opening” the day after Christmas.
The print, called “Nominal Chinati”, is an homage to three pieces, one by Judd and two by Flavin. It’s a shaped-plate relief print cut with a laser into 0.050″ aluminum, and rolled with Daniel Smith relief ink. There will be 45 members in the edition, and perhaps three Artist Proofs and one Press Proof.
Here’s a shot of the inking setup:
Finally had the time to go sign and number the small shipping container prints. This series is all 13″ x 6.25″, printed in black on Lettra 220# fluorescent white paper. There are 40 members in the edition, and I’m reserving numbers 1-13 as complete sets.
Click to embiggen on any one of these:
Today was a busy time at the Bow & Arrow Press, where I was not only running a four-color broadside for a poetry reading at Emory University, but also running editions of my long-waiting shipping container project. I pulled three sets of prints for the series, and each will be signed in an edition of 27 when they’re dry:
Cosco in Warm Grey 7
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.