Samphire Arts

Posts Tagged ‘Letterpress

So, among my many loves, I have a huge love for Letterpress!

I cannot imagine a world without it. It would be colourless and most importantly, texture-less and that, in itself is a crime that cannot go noticed (or unpunished for that matter! To the guillotine I say!). For me to truly experience something, it has to be both visually and tactile (oh, and sometimes by smell! especially little goodies meant for my tummy!). I have a habit of touching everything, I have to constantly remind myself not to when I am in a museum. No, really… I stick a thumb under my satchel strap, easing it’s weight off and the other hand holds the exhibition guide.

Anyway, I have been keeping an eye on a letterpress machine for years now. It’s so tempting especially when recently a friend offered it to me for a hundred odd quid!! How do you resist the temptation of creating beautiful, tactile, paper goodies?! I’ll tell you how, live in a small place! Currently over-run by Arthur Roy Fisk (my beauuutiful drawing table, pre-owned by lovely Claire daughter of Roy Fisk, a Lincoln based artist), Bertha– My small but heavy Victorian press, Ben– My lil’ table for the digital stuff… amongst hundreds of books and little knickknacks I have lovingly accumulated over the years and stuffed into this little room! So, you see, adding a tabletop letterpress would be me literally bursting at my seams, so to speak!

And so, I decided to do letterpress without the ‘Press’! Yes… I cheated… But.. but… what can I do? I haven’t the budget or space (yet!)

A friends’ birthday was coming up so I thought I’d give a try… and this is what I managed… I know, it looks a bit pitiful but, not bad i think considering i had to physically press it between two boards to get any sorta impression! Takes lots of muscle this method… and some patience with the trial and error. However, at the end of it, you’ll have something like a letterpress…

p.s: I’d like to assure you only two metal letterpress letters were ‘hurt’ (actually broken in two!sob!) in this instance. It has been reported to the RSPCLP (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Letterpress Printing). And they recommend, should you have any unwanted tabletop letter-presses, fonts etc give them to me to prevent further metal/wood fonts getting hurt (Including my nails, and fingers…).

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More trial and error this time with a pre-factory made plastic ‘letterpress’. Again, I didn’t have the right machinery to ‘press’ these but you can see the general outcome here…

All this was actually brought about by the thought of wedding invites and a poem I read many years ago, by Edward Estlin Cummings. I have been toying with this poem for a while and wanted to produce it by letterpress. Turns out, it’s pretty expensive and so I resorted to a not so old-fashioned way to produce it. (More to follow in the next blog!) For now, I hope everyone rediscovers this beautiful art of letterpress and I wish to convince future brides/grooms to use letter-press for their wedding stationery, Save the Date cards or even to announce the new arrival of your lil’ ones post wedding dates and dramas etc…

Letterpress for me has an understated elegance- A beauty to look at and appreciate both visually and tactile.

 

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all artwork + copy © fatima jamadar
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