Page 20 - August 2014
P. 20

LETTERPRESS:

    THE OLD WAY OF PRINTING !!

    by J. Patten (10202)

    I HAPPENED TO WATCH A                        guides and hinged contrapƟon described
    PROGRAMME DEVOTED TO                         above, all for £70. Of course, various
    SELLING A “LETTERPRESS KIT”                  extra temptaƟons were on offer (more
    FROM WEͳRͳMEMORYͳKEEPͳ                       ink, more paper) but I was parƟcularly
    ERS, A SHOPPING CHANNEL                      interested in the alternaƟve set of blocks
    DEVOTED TO CRAFT SUBJECTS.                   that were available (‘Damask’, ‘botanical’,
    I THOUGHT MEMBERS OF THE                     ‘blossom’, ‘twigs and sprigs’).
    BRITISH PRINTING SOCIETY
    MIGHT BE INTERESTED TO                       I can imagine that some of the craŌy
    HEAR ABOUT IT.                               people who discover leƩerpress like
                                                 this may spread their wings when they
            here’s no type (or type high) in     discover that using moveable type, any
            this leƩerpress kit, only words      word can be printed (sorts permiƫng), or,
            and images as pieces of plasƟc       with the wonder of blockmaking, there
    which were inked with a roller. These        are much more images they could print.
    were set up in a hinged contrapƟon doing     That’s without menƟoning linocuƫng or
    service as bed (block aƩached with spray     wood engraving!
    adhesive) and tympan (paper guided by
    removable self-adhesive pieces of foam).     print this invite for
    This was then printed on what I could        25 pence and sell
    describe as a mangle press; that is using a  it for three or four
    central roller rather than a platen (rolled  pounds ..?
    through and back, not out the other end
    on a single pass).                           “The old way of prinƟng” is how leƩerpress
                                                 was described. You may not have seen it
    The press is not part of the leƩerpress kit  done like this before, but, does this sound
    (the £100 model they were showing—also       familiar: “you could print this invite for 25
    available, as this is a shopping channel     pence and sell it for three or four pounds”?
    aŌer all—was used for die cuƫng).
    The kit itself comprises an image (rose
    paƩern) and various word blocks, an
    inking slab and roller, wipes, plus the

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