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Monthly ArchiveFebruary 2014



inventory / presses Thursday February 27 2014 10:00 pm

Frisket/tympan for #5 Washington iron handpress

We are starting to build the frisket/tympan frame four our 1868 Washington #5 iron handpress.

I’m putting scans of the drawings from Rummonds “Printing on the Iron Handpress” to help show where we are headed. When we get the finish done we’ll put up nice photos of the results.

We need someone with a GOOD frisket frame that is willing to take good closeup photos of all of the important places and to provide us with some basic measurements.

We need good photos of all of the corners, pins, things that hold pieces together etc. Images can be mailed to info@leadgraffiti.com. Might be better if you emailed us first to make sure we don’t already have them.

A question:

Is #59 in the top image metal?

workshops Wednesday February 19 2014 01:19 pm

Clamshell box workshop


We love making things and clamshell boxes are way near the top of the list of those things. We recently did a clamshell box workshop and these are the results. While a complicated process it is hard to really blow it. A nice piece of paste paper really helps.

1) Ray’s prototype for a deluxe copies for a new book series (100?) to house books that are different thicknesses.

2) Rebecca’s clamshell to hold a set of important puzzle books from her childhood that she wants to protect.

3) Jill wanted to protect a family Bible which had a number of clippings, pressed flowers, photos and the like. She also built a folder to hold the miscellaneous objects and made a thick clamshell box to house both the Bible and the folder.

4) Steve chose a book printed via letterpress about typography. Nice touch.

We’ve also done some work to our board shears that we’ve wanted to do for 2 years. We finally put a new top on it We still need to do an inlayed ruler of some sort, but we cannot find a really good metal ruler that reads from the right to the left. We also bought a gizmo at Woodcraft so we could set a stop and could repeat the same cuts over and over. You can by multiple stops as each rotates out of position to allow you to by pass it. That is sometimes a strangely useful process in our studio.

Steve, one of the participants in the workshop turned out to be a wood worker. We had developed a stop-gap measure to help us measure the sizes of the books to be contained in the clamshell boxes and then to trim to that exact measurement. Generally, you are talking about accuracy to the thickness of a piece of book cloth, which is quite thin.

This was the first clamshell box workshop where we asked the people to bring in their own book to contain and cutting everthing, even though it was pretty easy to do, slowed us down enough that we couldn’t get the workshop finished in one day. So, everyone came back the next day for another couple of hours. Steve brought back a wonderful device to help us do the measuring quickly. Now I think I need 3 or 4 of them so different people could be measuring at the same time.

Studio projects & honors, awards, media & news Sunday February 02 2014 07:19 pm

SHARP review of “The Multifaceted Mr. Morris”

We designed & printed via letterpress a book entitled the The Multifaceted Mr. Morris (see our original blog announcement), a catalogue of the William Morris exhibition mounted in the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection at the University of Delaware for the “Useful & Beautiful” conference held in October 2010. Highlighting more than 30 books, manuscripts, drawings, and other works the introduction tells the story of how the collector came to collect Morris and the Pre-Raphaelites. The book was recently reviewed by John Buchtel, Head of Special Collections at Georgetown University in the Winter 2014 issue of SHARP (Society for the History of Authorship, reading & Publishing) News.

Our online portfolio entry | online store entry

It is wonderful when someone actually grasps and has the ability to articulate your creative intent that actually matches your intent. Below are a few quotes from the review focused on Lead Graffiti’s contribution to the book.

The colophon to this elegantly designed exhibition catalog declares it to have been  “printed slowly & patiently,” Lead Graffiti’s flawless letterpress placing it squarely in the Arts and Crafts tradition tht its subject set in motion more than 100 years ago. The catalog achieves its ai of presenting a lively sense of the multiplicity of William Morris’s interests and efforts, and of his contributions in each of those realms, from his early fasination with Icelandic saga to his Socialists activism to his engagement in the details of textile production and book design.

. . .

The catalog’s charming “visual nuggets” (as the printer’s promotional literature describes its graphic elements) taken from items in the Samuels Lasner collection include a detail from Burne-Jones’s delightful caricature of William Morris takimg a constitutional. This alone is worth the price of admission for fans of either figure.

. . .

The only complaints one might be tempted to raise have to do with the catalog’s crisp inkjet plates. Their number is limited to eight, and while this is understandable given the added cost of full color, it is too bad that they depict neither the catalog’s additional items nor the wood engraving by Edmund News of the library at Kelmscott House. Moreover, the photographs present the objects in their entirety, from above and at an angle. This design decision produces an illusion of three-dimensionality that serves as a good reminder that the catalog stands in for an exhibition; nonetheless, one may not be able to help wishing for a little more
close-up detail of Burne-Jones’s caricatures or Morris’s calligraphy.

. . .

For those on the other hand who fall in love wth the notion of the hand-crafter book, the catalog embodies what it describes, providing a beautiful and actually affordable (albeit not inconsiderably priced) entré into the world of letterpress printing, replete with the tactile pleasure of a pronounced “bite.” Like the books produced by its namesake, the catalog is quietly evangelistic: may it succeed in winning converts to the collecting and patronage, and perhaps even to the practice, of fine press printing.