Sunday, 23 December 2007

In frozen Lincoln

Back up to my home city, tourist free Lincoln.

No work, no more running around, rest for a few days.

The Burning question, did I have the Horse meat ? YES and I have to say that I liked it. For all of us with delicate stomachs please do not read the following words...... it was raw, it was top.
Regular readers will be pleased to know that my camera has returned from India and when I get the thing hooked up to the mac I will be able to share with you some very horny images.... some of them a little blue.

The main reason why I was in Japan was to give a two day workshop in Arts and Crafts style, limp vellum binding. First I Had to print the text block.

First, as much of the work I do, was the research. As the work shop was to coincide with an exhibition of the work of William Morris and the Kelmscott Press, I wanted the finished work to have the flavour of the Arts and craft movement, not to slavishly copy it.

Once I had decided on the feel and the look I began to set the type, organise the pagination. This may sound simple but it can take some time, each individual letter has to be placed in the correct place, plenty of proofs to ensure that the balance is correct, I could go on but you may find it a little tiresome.

The Forme is loaded into the Adana ready for a final proof.

Okay so far. I had wanted to include a Lino cut for the frontispiece, an image of Morris. This is where I had to imagine if Morris, were he alive today, if he would have used the computer to aid his work ? I would like to think that he would have, not to manipulate or to use directly, more as part of the creative process.

After pulling an image from the Internet and bunging some software at it, I reversed the image and ran it through my trusty photo copier.

By rubbing cellulose thinners on the back of the photo copy I transfered the image onto a sheet of lino.

I was then able to start to cut away the lino. There is something very reassuring about the lino cut. The direct nature of the work, where you are in control, that every mark you make will be reproduced.I used the transfered image as a guide, however I chose what to leave, what to take away. This was the fun part.

Making the lino Type High would enable me to put it into the Adana, thus speeding up the print run. Again proofs had to be taken.

Once happy, the paper was cut and the graft began.

In total 31 copies were printed, There was more printing than shown here, a lot more.
There is much to be said for type set and simple printing techniques. The control, the smell of the ink, the skill in getting the pressure of the press correct, the ink mix, the choice of paper. All of this and more has to come together at the same time.

I am not a printer, but I love it so much (it is also a bit addictive).

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