Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Continuing to poke holes...

I wrote recently about this work I had done for my dad.  I collected it from the framer and it is now happily hanging in his home.

Never easy to photograph once framed - when will I ever learn?!?

He has shared the words with many folk who have been touched and asked him for them so they could write them down.  He asked if I could do him some small cards with the words on and I thought of course, this is another chance to practise letterpress so headed off with great enthusiasm.

I learn so much each and every time I try to create something with letterpress and this was great for me to learn about spacing and packing a line. I learned that you start each line with an em quad (square) and that you put your largest spacers on the outside and the smaller spaces closer to the letters. So far so good.

I went and inked up the new Adana press I bought the other week and set to printing. My first proof showed me why you do proofs...

In the set up shown above, I hadn't noticed that instead of two s' I had used os and that one of the os I used elsewhere was actually upside down.

 So back to the chase, unlock it, position the right letters, lock it up again, find some words are looser than they were before, add more spacing, tighten and lock again; find some words are looser than they were before, add more spacing, tighten and lock again... you get the drift.

But when I finally lifted it up to print again I was taken by the beauty of the grid on the back. There's an abstract artwork in there somewhere I think.

And so I printed the words on black paper.

Poked some holes in them (well really cut and folded triangle holes)

And attached them to white card. And they looked great! Dad now has a dozen cards he can share with friends.

An extra nice touch was that dad came along to help us when we purchased the new Adana and the type that I used so he has a nice connection to the whole piece!


  1. Beautiful! I love that your dad has that extra connection to the press and type. And I really think you're onto something with that abstract. Reminds me of old books, shelved floor to ceiling, their spines illegible from being handled and read so many times over the years. Enjoy!

    1. It is a lovely connection J - felt good! It's amazing isn't it that you can see so much in the back of a locked up chase? It looks like bookshelves to me too!

  2. The best quotes are the ones created from our own experience.

    1. So true Liz - they tell our stories don't they? Go well.

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks Jac - layering it onto the white really makes it pop I think; and it's good to share these thoughts around, so I am happy to have been able to print it. Go well.

  4. Wonderful to see this process coming along so beautifully - and to hear about the details...it's a lovely execution of content -> structure. And such powerful words! I, too, love the gridded-type of back. And Jennifer's comment about the geometry being reminiscent of spines made me remember one professor in college questioning what distinguished the buildings in my cityscapes as such, as opposed to books on a bookshelf - and it's true that there is a definite link between the two very differently scaled structures! Anyway, it's always a bonus when the process is as aesthetic an experience as the art... Thank you for the "insider" notes, Fiona!

    1. Hi Lisa - I love that story about cityscapes and books on book shelves - so perfectly apt. The process can be a surprisingly long one with every small adjustment requiring an equal and opposite one it seems! And I love when I get confident and grab a letter which is NOT actually the correct one. Good learning and reminders. Come along on the ride with me I say! Go well.


I appreciate your thoughts and comments; thanks for taking the time.