No Time

Time. I wish I had more of it. Earlier in the year, our business was quiet and we filled our time and rode out the recession developing new products. I put aside press projects since I didn’t even have the cash to buy paper. Now, when I most need to work on artistic pursuits, the floodgates have opened and our Big Client needs to stock their shelves for Christmas. And thank heavens for that, because this year was looking pretty grim, financially. So no book off the press this year, as we work like devils to dig ourselves out of the hole. The studio tour and other events will have to be content with last year’s product since almost all of my time will be dedicated to following the money. So Greyweathers Press ends its fifth year with a whimper rather than a bang.

Not to say it has been completely idle. The engraving portfolio project has been good to work on here and there, both because it can only be done one block at a time, and it is, to say the least, a challenge to print. Frustration the apt word, perhaps.

In August, I printed the largest of the wood engravings, measuring about 6″ x 9″, mostly of a tree with two resting deer beneath it mighty boughs. There are two round vignettes in the top corners: a fence stile at left, and wagon wheels at right. The result was not what I would consider ideal — I’m still losing clarity in the centre of the engraving in spite of extensive make ready. But it is the best I can achieve. This time, I opted to restrain the ink and preserve the detail and tone of the engraving, as opposed to striving for heavier black impression throughout. Here it is:


The engraving work is lovely on this unsigned block. It took a day and a half to produce 100 prints.

More recently, I set type on a commercial piece for the Merrickville Artists’ Tour. The tour will celebrate its 25th anniversary this year with a party and I volunteered to print the invites. It’s by invitation only, so I’ve removed the details, but you get the gist.


I don’t mean to sound unenthusiastic about commercial letterpress, but I can’t help it. There are printers out there doing fabulous work for invitations, business cards, portfolio covers, annual reports etc. However, I love books and those are what I want to print. While I’m printing these little jobs, even the wood engravings, all I want to do is get busy on another book.

This invitation will not be the finale for 2009. No matter what, I will be doing a demonstration of some sort on the press for the two weekends of the Studio Tour (September 26-27 & October 3-4), so I’ll plan something fun for that. I’m thinking a type sampler….

Then down to planning an ambitious project for 2010. The leader right now is an illustrated book of selected Shakespeare soliloquies.

Explore posts in the same categories: Letterpress printing, Musings, Rants, Wood Engraving

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: