A nice girl who bought a set of the letterpressing inks I was selling earlier this year tipped me off about Centurion Graphics as a good place to get printing plates made, so for this year’s Christmas card designs, we did exactly that!
We got some nice heavy-guage magnesium plates made up of a robin design I came up with under Lilly’s direction. They plates are really good – so much easier than my previous linocut efforts, and capable of a really nice deep impression in the card too.
Unfortunately I was a bit hasty when I started to print up these cards and by rushing I messed up the text on the front a little bit, ending up with a bit of ghosting from improper inking. Oh well.
Other than that we’re pleased with the cards! We’re reclaiming ‘tweeting’ from its modern social-network-meaning! If you’re not British, you might be wondering what robins have to do with Christmas. Wikipedia has an, er, nice section suggesting some reasons robins are associated with Christmas in Britain. I don’t know if it’s common, but when I was small, my Mum used to tell me that robins are Santa’s little watchmen – they had red chests to match Santa’s outfit and they reported back to him on whether you had been good or bad throughout the year so he knew what to give you for Christmas. Haha
I have opened a tiny webshop! As well as selling some old large-format prints, the main reason I set up this shop is to sell some letterpressed greeting cards I have been working on for the past few months.
And finally, my first collection of three designs is ready:
Well this operation has proven to be a success – all the inks are sold after not even a month! Hooray and thanks!
As a [very] amateur letterpresser, I’ve been through a few struggles when it comes to finding ink. I managed to learn when we first got our press that litho inks (that is, the inks used in big offset printers) are good to use, and found forums of discussions where people have said they get friendly with their local print shops and scrounge odds and ends of ink from them. I managed the same trick only once, but now I’m trying to actually make some things on the press, I’ve needed to expand further than the dregs my local print shop very kindly gave me a couple of years ago. Read the rest of this entry »
Happy December, internet folk! After a few weeks of tinkering, begging for supplies, doing test prints, whittling and re-engineering, Lilly and I have finally made our first useable letterpressed product- some christmas cards to send to friends and family!
After the fold, you’ll find pictures of the process and all, so click to Read the rest of this entry »
Me being me, someone who likes to make stopmotion things and having an occasional fancy to make random flash-based toys, I decided to make this this afternoon- a virtual version of Lilly’s letterpress!
It will run by itself, but you can mouse over it to make it work yourself too! just move your mouse up and down over it!
If you know your letterpresses, you might be a little confused by the ink disc ratchet. Yes- it’s something I made myself, out of an old scrap of metal, and a cent I have had knocking around on my desk for ages (it wasn’t heavy enough on its own and Abraham Lincoln was happy to help!). The original one was very broken, too short, and not well attached, so I made this replacement on the weekend. I didn’t have a bolt of the right size though, so it is currently being held on with a small screw and chunk of wood. I’m not really sure if it looks or works anything like it is meant to, but it seems to work!
The Letterpress I got Lilly for her Birthday saw a little bit of action this weekend, in the form of this bumble bee, named princess wings.
Princess wings was a picture I drew Lilly a few years back of a bumble bee with fake wings tied onto it. I spent the weekend carving it out of a random chunk of MDF that happened to be hanging out here, and ran it through the press today. Unfortunately, when I was carving, I didn’t do too well at carving out her eyes (I managed to carve them right off), so considering the abundance of googley eyes I find in my posession, I thought I’d add a couple of those instead!
To my surprise, it worked! I think we might need some better ink though- we’ve been using block printing inks as we couldn’t find anywhere in London that sold proper letterpressing ink- I think eBay is going to be the answer for that.
Be sure to see more adventures from the letterpress in the future though!