Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Mixing the old with the new

 It has been a long time since we visited the cottage in the Scottish Highlands.  We miss it so, and try not to think too long or too hard about when we might get back; and are forever grateful that we have kind neighbours and friends caring for it in our absence.

This work takes me back to when we were last there.

Back here, I chose the typeface, but was still struggling with the 'how to print'.  Eventually we got there.  I dreamed up weird and wonderful notions through the night; I woke with another way of maybe getting there; and so it went.  

Barry and I teamed up to do it - worked out how to ensure we were at the right place and that the paper would be straight and wouldn't move.

It meant that the two of us worked on each print (there were 10 of them), so Barry patiently worked away and I interrupted him to come and help after I had set each line of type.

The type had to be fairly high up in the chase. There was only one print per image, so it was changed after each print.

You can see how much the paper was draped over the top - this was the main risk. It could slip or just get dirty as it swayed through the printing process.

We did a lot of proofing to make sure it was straight, and centred. Each line of type was a different length of course.

The good paper and the good image go in. Barry resting the ruler on a metal bar, Fiona lining the paper up with a line drawn on the paper on the left.

And once again, hi tech attachment using scraps of painter's tape!

The first impression.

And here are a few of them.

This was a trial (and it worked out pretty well, just not quite centred as well as it might have been) along with the original I had printed a home on my little old Canon back in January last year.

Up close the combination of detailed, crisp, digital printing and the deeper impression of hand-inked traditional metal type letterpress printing on an 1890 press works well.  I have enjoyed bringing the two eras together and seeing if they can make something beautiful.

I am selecting the top 3 and getting them into frames this week.  Then hopefully they will head to the Editions printmakers' show at Nambour later this month. Unless I change my mind and include something else instead...

As ever, here is the proof that we really do need to proof!


  1. such pains-taking precision ... what a team!

    1. Thanks Liz - it can be SUCH slow work; but once we work out how to do it we do get into a rhythm. And yes, excellent team work, it really helped to have an extra pair of hands! Go well.


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