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Sunday, July 20, 2014

The type really pulls the room together

I'm pleased to report that the printing of the 21 plant specimens is complete.

So, after many agonizing months of type drama and delay (set, proof, reject, recast. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Honestly, hot pokers forced under my fingernails may have been less painful) the printing of the type is well underway.

There are three types of text: short prose poems about my connection to the landscape in 12pt California Old Style italic, 10pt herbarium collection data and 12pt roman main text with information about the plants and natural and local history.

There are quite a few printing tasks ahead. 36pt California Old Style italic plant species names and heads printed over the wood type. Background plant images for folios 1 and 2. Small caps half-title and chapter openings. Title page. Small cap collection dates. Prints and map to accompany the deluxe edition. In order words, I still have a way to go.

Oh yeah, and then there's the binding.

















Monday, June 2, 2014

And the printing continues

After some drastic setbacks (involving the reprinting of everything. A story for another day.) I am back on track. 

The kozo center spread of Coast Live oak for the deluxe edition. 

Because I had to reprint, I decided to change the text paper from biblio to somerset. With its extra weight and beautiful texture, everything is looking much better. 

California sagebrush first and second runs. 



Dried leaves of the mighty Valley oak. 


California buckwheat. 



Dried flowers, California sagebrush. Did you know that California sagebrush is not a sage at all, but a member do the sunflower family?







Monday, May 12, 2014

Sammy's book

After 14 years as president of Otis, Sammy Hoi has decided to move on. I was given the task of creating a special book for him that could be signed by all of the members of the Otis family to express their well wishes.

I decided to make a leather bound book of my favorite shade of green, very similar to "Otis Green". It has pages of Stonehenge paper sewn on frayed cords, hand sewn silk end bands and his initials on the cover. I was very nervous that with the short timeframe the book might not spend enough time under weight so it was something of a mad dash the get it done. 

The title page was printed letterpress and said "President Sammy Hoi, the Otis family will miss you!" Along with the Otis logo. 

The pages were sewn in frayed linen cords 


The text block was rounded and backed. 



The cords were smoothed out and laced through the covers. 


The end bands were sewn. There are a number of steps that followed including lining the boards, preparing the spine and sanding the covers. 


The "S" of the monogram was an underlay of Bristol and the "H" was an onlay of darker green leather. 


The leather is pasted out and allowed to get saturated. 


The leather is applied to the book. 

The endcaps with their little ears are formed around the endbands. 

All that and I forgot to take a picture of the finished book!
















The great baseball project

Both of my Intro to Letterpress classes participated in a project sponsored by Gary Cyprs of the Sports Museum of Los Angeles this semester. They produced a collection of letterpress printed broadsides celebrating the 1955 World Champion Brooklyn Dodgers. 

Beautiful Stonehenge paper and mounted linoleum blocks along with tools, tracing and transfer paper were provided. 

The students were required to include handset type, either metal or wood or both, and a linoleum cut block image on their broadsides. 



This student created a reduction linoleum print of Johnny Podres.








The final type for this one read, "we want a pitcher, not a belly itcher."



First a sketch,


Then handset the type,


then a proof is made. 




Students use their proofed type and images to make a layout that can then help them lockup the elements in the bed of the press. This saves tons of time. No one ever is allowed to take a pile of wood letters to a press and spend hours trying to figure out where to put them. That is considered very bad form when press time is at a premium. 



This image was printed using a two color reduction block under a final detail block.