Waking up the Dead

You may recall that about a month ago I mentioned that Ian Scott had dropped around with an amazing collection of letterpress “cuts” to lend me. These are logos, maps, photos and other non-type items used in letterpress printing – basically what File | Insert Image does in a word processor these days, but a lot more work to create. They look like this:

Retail Merchants Association Letterpress Cut

This week an order of 200 chipboard coasters arrived, an order I’d placed a few weeks ago from a kind American I connected with on BriarPress.org. These are thick enough to be quite forgiving to the novice printer, and to accommodate any irregularities in the cuts, and proved an excellent medium for running some prints of Ian’s collection.

Here are the results of an afternoon’s worth of experimenting; what you don’t see are the experiments that didn’t work: some of the cuts had warped over the years, or were too caked with corrosion, others were too big or too small or just didn’t print well.

I love this on so many levels, perhaps most of all because these cuts haven’t been printed for so long, and so putting them on a press and bringing to life again is sort of like time travel. Or waking up the dead.


Heather M's picture
Heather M on May 1, 2011 - 23:40 Permalink

These are fantastic Peter! I hope you participate in the Artist Trading Card event this year with these!! What size are these cards? I would love to see your press set up someday.