Sunday, January 7, 2018

New Year's tidying

It seems to me that this time of year is an excellent time of cleaning up and tidying.  Barry and I have been working mightily hard in the garden for the past week - cutting, pruning, weeding and generally cleaning up around the place.

I have moved inside to the studio now and have begun the process of sorting through my paper and establishing sensible homes for some new wood type.

We have a commission to do where we need to use large wood type.  It is pretty hard to get hold of full sets of wood type these days - and in particular it is hard to get them into Australia if you do happen to find them overseas.  We are most particular about bringing wooden items into the country and the impact any insects might have on our flora and fauna...

I managed to borrow some beautiful type (thanks Caren) but also went in search of some more wooden type, and found some in Western Australia. After much to-ing and fro-ing we worked out size and price and then I had to wait nearly three weeks for the post to deliver them over Christmas - stressful!

Caren was visiting for a few days when the type arrived and together we ooh-ed and ahh-ed over them and she helped me start the sorting process.

It kind of sort of worked; but she suggested some metal drawer sets a friend of hers uses to store wooden type and like the instant action person I can sometimes be; the next day Barry and I went out a bought a few sets of drawers!

Very happy.

Some of the smaller ones have plastic inserts to help organise things.

Others I simply filled.

I put a few dividers in between similar, but slightly different, fonts. These look the same but some letters are narrower than others.

The big black drawers allowed the largest new type to go in, and then I used a divider to add in another full set as well.

In addition I have catalogued the lead type I have - by drawer, by name and by size!  Hopefully that will mean when I want 36pt type I can easily check which fonts I have in 36pt; if I want to use Bodoni, I will know how many sizes I have, how many variations (bold, italic, narrow) and where they are!

I printed out paper labels for the drawers and used blu-tac to attach them.  The next step is to print the labels with the actual typeface when we are making the type sample booklet. Not sure when that will happen; but for now I am happy with the wiggly randomness of the paper labels!

I also sorted out all my paper. I inventoried it so I knew what I had, then re-arranged where it all was so that mostly it is in one or two places and now I have catalogued the paper as well and I even know what is in each paper drawer.

Good grief, time for a lie down I think!


  1. Hi Fiona —
    I do not seem to be able to post comments, but I do have them.

    My you have acquired a nice selection of type. Being so organized helps so much in keeping track of it all. Absolutely love printing with old wood type. The history, the always adjusting for size and height, keeps your letterpress skills very solid. Have fun. After your nap of course!

    Merriment from afar-

    1. I love that merriment form afar Dana! I want to join in! I am getting it together a wee bit with letterpress - so much to learn, but oh so much unlearning it! Go well.

  2. Replies
    1. Its a lovely new bunch Mo - hard to find, so I treasure it even more. Go well.

  3. yay, now maybe with you as my inspiration i can get some of my paper sorted..... maybe...soon..?

    1. It has taken me more years than I care to remember Velma to even get this far with organising my paper, so may the Force be with you! It feels good tho knowing what I have and where it is...but until now it is the task that has always fallen to the bottom of the list. Hurray for summer!

  4. Do you make flying visits to other studios? ;-)

    1. Love to Sandy! I feel chuffed getting this far, even tho there is so much more to do. Wouldn't it be grand to have a travelling studio tidying fairy...go well.


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