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A Brief Report on Last Week

Last week I was at Wells College for their Summer Book Arts Institute, this time taking a course on punchcutting. A punch is the first stage in making a matrix, or mold, that can then be used to make type. In theory, I could design a whole new typeface, take the matrices to a typefounder, and then have a set of types all my own. (And the ambitious part of my brain thinks ~how cool~ would it be to have a set of types in Sindarin and Quenyan?!) And it's difficult to write about the process of creating an object from raw steel on Monday and then printing with it on Friday afternoon, but that's pretty much what happened. Also, out of seven students I was the only woman, which thankfully was managable; all the guys--which included Todd--were good guys, so that was a relief.

Here's some photos from Todd's Instagram, because I don't have pictures of my stuff, and anyway, it's kind of embarrassing in contrast.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BIYk83PBJiF/
https://www.instagram.com/p/BIWCRnghC8q/
https://www.instagram.com/p/BITsEADhyQJ/
https://www.instagram.com/p/BId5vWQBeHF/

I was feeling incredibly frustrated for the first two days because I was so behind everyone else--I finished a set of two punches, while everyone else had four or five--but on Thursday through happenstance I was seated at a different workstation, and...the files there were SO MUCH BETTER than the ones I'd been using. Which was just happenstance, but also speaks to how important it is to have the tools that are ~right for you~ which I don't think I quite understood until then.

I also got to do a small print project in the off-hours; having access to a full shop with a huge type and ornament library is lovely. Although Vandercooks still freak me out. I like platen presses, ok?

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