Friday, June 29, 2018

Peace emerges book-ets are now for sale!

Many of you will have followed the ups, downs and roundabouts of me re-working some peace pages into what I happily describe as book-ets.

There was much wondering, and much wandering, as I explored the options hither and yon.

I was really pleased with the outcome and have now managed to get them into my online shop for sale.

Because the pages have been re-used, there is still evidence of tape residue visible on the pages.  I am OK with this as it seems to me that if what we are doing for peace isn't working; then we try another way, we try something different.

It also says to me peace needs renewal and we should just keep working...

Each book-et contains three pages of original calligraphy on rusted and pierced paper. The words are different in each.

1. Let peace be a daily conversation
2. We dream of peace and peace dreams of us
3. Peace is fragile, tend it gently and daily
4. Dwell with peace in your spirit and your mind
5. Every new breath allows peace to be born anew

I hope that you enjoy them - you can find them for sale for $95 pp here...

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Thursday Thoughts...

“Anyone can love a rose, but it takes a lot to love a leaf. It’s ordinary to love the beautiful, but it’s beautiful to love the ordinary.” 


Sweet and simple and oh so true!  I think one of the joys of having discovered an art tribe amongst the interweb is the realisation that we nearly all stop and look at things that others might dismiss as old, ugly, worn or whatever; and see within them some beauty.

Oftentimes ageing beauty; oftentimes stoic beauty; sometimes solitary beauty; sometimes independent many things have beauty within them that we might otherwise pass by.

I love the notion that it is beautiful to love the ordinary.

And so often the ordinary is so beautiful!

Leaves in Krakow, Poland 2017.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Lovely letters arrive

Late last week I collected a hefty 15kg parcel from the Post Office.

We had been fortunate enough to purchase some old Italian wood type letters from New Zealand. Terrie Reddish a fellow letterpress lover had put them up for sale and I got in just in time to purchase them.

'Full' alphabets of old wooden type are getting harder and harder to find, and we had been really wanting to buy some tall type - about 10cm tall. These letters were about 13.5cm tall so they certainly fitted the bill and hence my speedy fingertips to keyboard and across the airwaves to NZ.

 We enjoyed opening the box - it does still feel like Christmas to me when I get parcels in the mail which I know hold magic.

It took me a while to work out what the letters on top were about - and then I worked out they were all letters that have descenders - the bits of the letter that hang below the baseline where we normally write.  So they were even taller than 13.5mmm and hence needed to be packed slightly differently.

p, g, y.

And here I just loved how they interlock together, without messing up your line height. I so often think of letterpress of old as being pure genius.

And then I just fiddled and played with a a few words. I forgot to say how beautiful the lettering is as well. Its not just a plain jane set of wood type - they are Art Nouveau elegant!

They really are tall. This two line piece measures 27cm (11 inches)!!!. Posters here we come!

 Not all the letters are there; but we have hopes of being able to replace them - but that is another adventure!

Sunday, June 24, 2018

checking and checking...

As a self-taught letterpress printer I am continually learning.  There must be better and faster and easier ways to do things, but I stumble along and discover things for myself.

At times, I would love to be in a shared print shop and watch others and ask and listen and all of that; but instead I just have to figure things out for myself and I laugh a lot along the way as I realise I could have been sooooo much more efficient!

Case in point.  Preparing to print the first 'verse' of the 'poem' that will accompany the images of standing stones, I first of all worked out the size of the print area and tried to place my small pieces of type within it just to get a sense of how it might look.

Of course several fell over.

 But I thought I was onto something size-wise and positionally, so I grabbed a few spaces to see how they worked. All looked OK.

Then I locked the type up in a chase and carbon paper proofed it. Told myself I wanted to move things this way and that, so went back in and changed the spaces and and hoped for a better look.

I di this several times...

I think maybe eight times?

And then thought - why don't I just cut the words out and lay them out how I want to see them printed, and then see if I can pop the type in to match my preferred layout?

And look at that - it worked!  I could have saved an hour or two I reckon if I had used my brain a wee bit earlier in the process. Laugh.

Locked and ready to test print.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Thursday Thoughts...

“When a library is open, no matter its size or shape, democracy is open, too.”

 Bill Moyers

What a comforting thought this is in amongst the times we live in.  Just knowing that libraries are there, that they are open, and that all sorts of people can be there accessing information, books, newspapers and magazines that inform them fills me with hope.

In response to this quote it seems to me to be even more imperative to keep libraries funded, open and even expanded.  Losing a library is a loss on so many levels for a community and that loss can be sense at higher levels too - if we shut down our libraries are we shutting down our democracies?

Books, reading and the sharing of knowledge are all there in the library.  These things are critical to functioning democracies and it is so good to know that libraries are open, the lights are on and we are there seeking truth, knowledge and information!

I'm sure she loves a library too...NYC 2012

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Go Girl!

I have begun an annual print run titled "GG".

It has become an annual event serendipitously, rather than through thoughtful intent, but I like that it has emerged in this way. Always using wood type. Always using random letters rather than a consistent font.

On the weekend I got to play with my new magnets (courtesy of Springtide Press) in the bed of the galley proofing press.

We had also recently purchased some random wood type - all a bit oversized and I thought I would like to use it for my next GG print.

Here is the wood type set rather unorthodoxically in the press.

And here are the prints that emerged. I love the energy in this edition!

Multiples drying.

Playing with how much you can take out and still know what it is saying...

This is the third print in the 'collection', and the first two can been seen here.

2016 - GG

2017- GG I

And now we have GG II. Long may the girls go!

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Pottering about

I feel as if I needed time to re-acquaint myself with the studio space and making.  Having spent so long cleaning it up, then preparing it for teaching, then teaching, then tidying up I felt we hadn't spent much time together just hanging and playing and making.

So my goal was to simply do that - spend time pottering about and doing a little bit of this and a little bit of that.

Water colour pencil meanderings.

I had run out of thank you cards - a nice dilemma to have I guess! So some pencil ones, some with watercolour and words.

Some bunches of flowers.

And some leftover printing.

I feel I remembered myself a bit. I remembered what I love. I made some things. I made some mistakes. My heart and my hand connected again.

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Thursday, June 14, 2018

Thursday Thoughts...

“And that is how change happens. One gesture. One person. One moment at a time.” 

Libya Bray

It feel like it gets harder and harder to think and believe this, yet I know it is the truth and what we all must do.  I don't think I have ever felt so deflated by the state of politics as I am now - on every side, in every country it is awful.

I know that as individuals take a stand, ask questions, challenge the status quo, are kind to each other and to strangers, and persist and persist and persist, we WILL see change.

If I back peddle a bit, and get off my sorry horse (what mangle of metaphors that is!) I definitely feel as if we are at some turning points. I think for women, things are changing. For gay and lesbian and trans people some things are changing.  We are in places, becoming more open, compassionate and kind. And for that I am grateful.

It seems to me it is up to us, 'we the people' as they say, to make that one gesture. To make and mark that moment in time. Together.

Street art on a laneway wall in Melbourne... results do indeed vary.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

A little bit of this and that

As we tested this and that and had a few goes at things with different papers and the like at the letterpress workshop on the weekend, one of the things we trialled was the use of the metal type with a tabletop press, but with no ink.

Always a fan of white on white, I knew embossed lettering looked gorgeous and so we had a quick play with some Arches Velin and with some beermat bored.

Delicious - and now Barry and I each have a coaster by our computer with Kindness on it - a lovely daily reminder.

The beermat board really does love the pressure...

And the Arches came up softly and gently.

As we pottered along we came across moments of broken type. Even tho lead type seems indestructible; it is fact quite fragile and relatively easily damaged. As evidenced here...

This beautiful 'h' just wasn't picking up the ink like other letters, so we had a good look at it and discovered that the surface was really pitted. Not sure why, but there you go. So we changed it over.

There was a nibble out of this 't' as well

And one of the leading edges of this 'v' had also been munched.

I have now set aside a special place for broken type - and will continue to use it to demonstrate the fragility of type in future workshops.

And to finish the day we watched a massive storm below us in the valley. We dashed back from the studio anticipating that we were about to get drenched and then the sun burst through and we were offered these rainbows for reward at the end of a big couple of days!

I really do love a rainbow...