Sunday, 20 July 2014

Under (what?) pressure

It's been a period of reflection, and being busy, and concentrating on other things, but finally I've got the inks, quoins, quoin key, furniture, and all the rest to get my press properly up and running.

First off, a few weeks ago, I whipped up some cards, 'Hot off the press' to say thank you to a few of the folk who helped me to get the press this far.  It took a lot of tweaking to get a result but I put this down to getting to know it's quirks.

But then, more prepared this time, I started out today with the 'quick' task of a congratulatory greeting.  7 hours later and it's not done, it's bedtime, and theres so much to clear up.  Unfortunately I can't seem to get the pressure right, partly it's uneven - despite twiddling all the relevant knobs - and partly it's just not giving a dark enough print - despite way more packing than I think is advisable.   

I'm calling this one 'faint praise'

Looks like I might have to book the press back into the clinic for a check up before I can go any further.  Ah letterpress, it gives you the best of times (making!) and the worst of times (frustration!).

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Coming soon

Just waiting on some new rollers and then I should be up and running.

Old news...

Back at the start of December last year a group of us from my year group on the MA Multi-Disciplinary Printmaking held an exhibition of works from our degree show.  The Parlour Showrooms on Park St, Bristol provided the perfect shabby backdrop for my repurposed pictures.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Final call for Christmas

In the course of having a bit of a tidy up of prints, books, and assorted ephemera today I've uncovered a few last copies of the letterpress advent calendar I printed and compiled 2 years ago.

I need to make room for new work so am going to sell these off for £5 (inc. p&p), any letterpress fans in need of a Christmas countdown, get in touch!

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Back on the horse

After something of a lengthy pause post-MA it is time to get back on the horse and introduce some new work.

A visit to the Pushing Print festival in Margate led to some foraging in Martells (a lovely printer and stationers) and being coaxed into acquiring a roll of tickets - thanks Angie!  I've been contemplating these for a few weeks now, and finally they have resolved into the following book.

A concertina book of tickets, each revealing a small personal admission on the reverse, in proportion with the scale and transient nature of the ticket.

A Series of Small Admissions

Rubber stamp printing onto paper tickets with card end covers 
53 x 34mm
edition of 25
£4, available via Impact Press at Small Publishers Fair, London, at Volume, Birmingham or by contacting me (email address on side menu).

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Across the pond

Card by the StoneArch Press (Minneapolis, MN)

Having been back from Minnesota for a couple of weeks now I've had a chance to reflect on all of the discoveries, experiences and conversations from our visit to MCBA (Minnesota Center for Book Arts).

Coming from the UK where book arts is still quite a marginal area of arts practice it was something of a revelation to be in an environment where it was the commonality of everyone we met.  I had expected to be wow-ed by the letterpress facilities (I was) and the Center as a space and resource, but I guess what I hadn't considered in advance were the people.  From full-time practitioners, to teachers and researchers, everyone was so enthusiastic about making and discussing all aspects of artists' books, and I was both alarmed and flattered to be treated as an equal by them.  The Book Art Biennial in particular was not only a chance to chat informally with book artists whose work I have admired and been inspired by, but made me consider the differences between the US and UK in the teaching, appreciation and practice of making artists' books.

And there I was thinking I'd left all serious academic thought behind at the end of the MA.  To compensate here are some gratuitous letterpress shots...

Printing on the Vandercook SP219 aka 'The Beast'

Learning how to do double-sided printing
Pressure printing - like magic!

These were taken during the 2 day course I took in 'Creative Letterpress' with Regula Russelle at MCBA.  I was a bit bemused at the beginning when it dawned on me that we weren't going to be using any type at all (despite being surrounded by cases and cases), but in fact the techniques we learned were great, and I think could easily translate into more type-based experimentation if I get the chance.

Sunday, 16 June 2013


Well its been a whirlwind couple of weeks finishing the work, putting the show up, chatting to visitors at the show, and taking it all down again!  I've yet to receive my module feedback, but I'm pretty pleased with how it all went.

For those who couldn't make it here are a few images of my corner of the gallery...