Monday, March 05, 2007

Letter Press Therapy

I couldn't help myself, the steering wheel seemed to have its own volition, swerving through rush hour traffic into the turning lane that would take me to the Quarry instead of home from work. Tired and agitated from a demanding, complicated day in the office I was nonetheless drawn back to TKPT for 'just a quick visit'.

After a weekend's pondering on a possible bypass to the registration challenge that blighted my Friday's work I had to test my theory, just to be able to sleep at night before my next LetterPress Friday. Sure enough, my hunch proved correct and the wooden type and the lead type are very sensibly the same height, which means (theoretically) I can set them together, ink them carefully with different colours and make one print... no registration issues!

Naturally I couldn't stop at just measuring the two kinds of type, I had to have a fiddle and see how they would fit together. Twenty or thirty minutes of happy jigsaw-puzzling ensued until I was assured it would work, but wasn't something to try and complete in a hurry. Back in the car, I discovered my day's tension had slipped away, like the syrupy traffic at 6.00.

Once home I found this lovely email from my dad, sharing part of his life I never knew of:

You reminded me of how I learned to set type in Montauk junior high school. Print shop was the only one I really enjoyed and learned anything useful from. Woodworking and electrical wiring were not my forte. But using the old fashioned type fonts and presses has always helped me visualize the beginnings of print culture.

1 comment:

E said...

Wow Meliors
This process sounds profound and fascinating and stimulating and LABORIOUS lol!
Looking forward to all the progress reports and loving the honesty with what you are learning about yourself