Saturday, 31 March 2012


This week at LEN we found that, unintentionally, we were working on the presses without using any power.  We only realised when we noticed how quiet it was!

Andy was printing his new typeface - more on that to come - inking it by hand.

And I (Hazel) was blind embossing from a linocut to create some covers for the 2nd edition of a book.  This was a really good technique for me to try at LEN as Angie and Andy were able to advise on the practicalities of getting my lino type high, and whether or not to soak the paper.  The result was subtle, but perfect for what I wanted, though as usual, in trying to use up some odds and ends I created new ones in the process.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Andy: Printing on a Wharfedale press.

'LOST' Print on the Wharfedale press and the locked forme of the same print. Notice the image printed on the blanket! I learned quickly not to let the press run on without any paper in place.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Andy: Letterpress statement

My work is characterised by the use of both letterpress and illustration, with each being equally important to the final piece. Drawing is an integral part of my practice, and the illustrative element in my printmaking tends to be a drawn image, for example a life drawing. Letterpress is incorporated either as a title, suggestive of a poster, or as longer text, suggestive of a broadside. Sometimes the text subverts the image; sometimes the inclusion of a few letterpressed words with the image create a narrative for the viewer, albeit an often ambiguous one.

I admire the aesthetic quality of print produced by using letterpress; a quality which suits the style of print I strive to create: one inspired by broadsides, broadsheets, old advertisements, political propaganda, satirical and random ephemera and posters. The limitations and flaws of letterpress, be it work type, or the time taken to compose are part of the enjoyment and satisfaction of using the medium.

The current revival of letterpress may be a reaction to the prevalence of the digital format; the use of traditional methods in the face of commodification and standardisation of material culture. In this way using letterpress can arguably be seen as a social and political act- there seems no better medium with which to convey the political and socially relevant themes I intend to engage with, however subtly and ambiguously.