Tag Archive for 'wood'

Letterpress at AIGA MN Design Camp Workshop

This post is a recap of the fun we had this last weekend leading a press free, hand style letterpress workshop at AIGA Minnesota Design Camp. We were located in the wine cellar at Grandview Lodge in Nisswa, Minnesota. Over 300 designers attend this event annually. We did three sessions of this 1.5 hour long workshop with over 120 total attendees.

The process was about putting down lots of ink quickly, creating textures, layers and happenstance in the layout and printing. No press required, no two prints alike.

Studio On Fire brought in lots of good stuff:

10 large cases of our woodtype collection (about 400lbs of type, mostly Hamilton faces)

Tape and cardboard (served as the bed of the press, tape held type in rough position)

A wadded up paper towel was the “printing press” (used with hands to burnish the back of the sheets)

Several dozen CSA images supplied on photopolymer plates (permission of CSA archives)

Wood grain background textures (blasted with a powerwasher, then relief carved)

Lots of good ol’ French Paper to print on (poptone sweet tooth and many many remnants)

Ink and brayers (oil based inks and soft rubber rollers)

It was a fluid process and a good chance for everyone to step away from the computer. A huge thanks AIGA Minnesota for having us and to the AIGA volunteers that supplied a steady stream of nature wash solvent to clean up and redistribute the wood type and images. And thanks to Phong Tran for his photo contributions.

If you would like Studio On Fire to do a workshop with your group, let’s talk. Please do contact us for more information.

Iron and Ornament in New Orleans

My wife and I did our first visit to New Orleans on Friday the 13th this last month to celebrate our 13th wedding anniversary. Stayed in a condo in the French Quarter that was on the haunted buildings tours. Weird how that stuff lines up, ehh? Despite that uncanniness, it was an excellent trip. New Orleans has such a rich texture and patina of ornament everywhere. The food was amazing. Three favorites you must check out if you visit are Eat, Elizabeth’s, and Willie Mae’s Scotch House.

The beautiful iron and flourishing ornament of the area had me transfixed with everything I passed. Here are some photos I took for graphic inspiration.


Tongue Depressor Business Cards

Open wide and say aahhh. Great. Now turn your head and letterpress some tongue depressor business cards. We just printed these for MCAD design undergrad Matt Van Ekeren. The cards are for his soon to launch website designthattalks.com The simplicity of the idea here is brilliant. The business card object plays off the url perfectly.

For the production, we hand fed them on our Chandler and Price letterpress. We used a small block of deep relief Boxcar base in an unusual way. Instead of using photopolymer plates, we used a 16 gauge copper plate mounted with double stick tape adheisive. We used copper rather than polymer in this case so we could be a little more aggressive with the impression on the wood. To accomodate the thickness of the tongue depressor, we had to back the platen off a few flats. Then, since the artwork is so tight to the edge the big challenge was fitting the guides pins EXTREMELY tight to the print area and not crush them. But it worked! We printed a couple hundred on both sides. A real challenge to hand fed, press was on a pretty low speed setting. Not something we’d like to do everyday, but we are suckers for trying things that are unique. But we did have Matt open all the individually packaged depressors.

Also, take a look at our Chandler and Price hand guard. It is a window-shade-like device that opens up as the press closes and pushes your hand out of harms way. Kind of a nice safety feature.

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Jim Sherraden Workshop at Hamilton Wood Type

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This is a museum that most certainly needs the support of designers and printers. There are still 10 slots to fill for Jim Sherraden’s May 22, 23, 24 workshop at Hamilton Wood Type in Two Rivers Wisconsin. The cost is $400 with all proceeds being donated to the museum.

Fourteen lucky printers will have the chance to print from Hamilton’s collection under the watchful eye and wise cracking mouth of Hatch Show Print’s printing maestro. The fun will start Friday night starting at around 7, go all day (and into the night) Saturday and a half day Sunday. You can reserve a double occupancy room at the Light House Inn for a special workshop rate of $70.00 night. Call Greg Corrigan or Jim Moran at Hamilton Wood Type at 920-794-6272 to register and for more details.

And because we love this place, Studio On Fire taking part in a poster edition to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Hamilton Museum.  It will open Saturday, May 30th and run through Labor Day 2009 at the museum. Proceeds benefit the museum. Crap, it’s due this week and it ain’t finished!

And because it’s funny, here is a print for sale at Hamilton by Allyson Vanstone.
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