Thursday, June 16, 2011

Printing, Publishing and Book Arts May Term:
Putting It All Together

As the May Term intensive in Printing, Publishing and Book Arts drew to a close, students began to present their final projects. Individual projects included an original poetry chapbook, hand-decorated broadsides, a portfolio of marbled papers, and specially bound blank books. The class project was a little book called Collated Collaborations: A Series of Fortunate Signatures. The playful title originated from some happy memories classmates shared of a children's book many of them had read growing up—Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. Their Collated Collaborations included a four-page signature by each member of the class. It was handbound, with endsheets of paper made in the class.

A display of student work from the course will be placed on display at the Tampa Book Arts Studio special collections room on the second floor of the Macdonald Kelce Library. Letterpress coordinator Carl Mario Nudi has put together a video of the experience; take a look by clicking TBAS on YouTube.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Working with Hot Metal Typesetting
and Letterpress Mechanics

Student Cody Waters sets type at the Intertype keyboard while volunteer Henry Wehle offers guidance.

Cody receives Intertype casting advice from Henry Wehle and Paul Moxon.

During the second week, students took their typesetting techniques from handset foundry type in composing sticks—a process that dates from the fifteenth century—to the 1920s, setting type on the Ludlow Typograph and the Intertype linecaster. Both of our machines were made in the 1920s, and form a nice complement to our 1920s Miehle V-36 vertical cylinder press.

Dave and Beth Seat of Hot Metal Services in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, who spend about 250 days each year on the road to bring their repair and maintenance expertise to letterpress shops throughout the country, had arranged to visit the Tampa Book Arts Studio in time for the last day of class. After a week of heavy use, the Ludlow was especially in need of their attention, and they soon had it tuned-up and casting beautifully. They also worked magic with the Miehle V-36, which had been under rehab in the studio but had not yet been running. By the time he finished, Dave had stacks of paper smoothly feeding through the press!

Visiting letterpress expert Dave Seat, of Hot Metal Services, tuned up equipment from the 1920s. Here Dave (left) works with Carl Mario Nudi and Richard Mathews to adjust the automatic feeding mechanism on the Miehle V-36.

Hands-on Papermaking and Marbling

Adam Kuhns and Krystle Canan watch as Alysia Sawchyn lifts her paper mold from the vat of pulp.

This scan of part of a finished sheet of paper shows the pale blue color, gentle texture, and part of the deckled edges. The full sheet is too large for the scanner.

By the end of the first week, students were at work making and decorating paper that would be used in binding and printing some of their course projects. Prof. Kendra Frorup turned part of the sculpture studio into a papermaking workshop on Saturday. Students used specially built molds to make enough archival handmade paper to bind and to create paper labels for the class project book.

After students dipped and couched an assigned quota of sheets, they moved on to experiment with marbling. While the full class only spent spent Saturday on this activity, some students enjoyed the work and returned to do additional work in paper as part of their individual course projects.

As a first step in paper marbling, students floated colored inks on water and combed the colors.

The paper then placed on the floating inks were removed and set aside to dry.