Sunday, February 17, 2013

type type and more type

Type, as in lettering, fonts, lead type, and wood type, is permeating every facet of my life at the moment.
The class is going really well. Last week we visited two special collections and looked at beautiful old books. The assignment for this week is 1. cut out individual letters and 2. cut a linoleum block of lettering. I hope they all do it because we are going to print next week. If someone drops the ball that will be unfortunate. There is also no type at school so we have to improvise. There is a Vandercook which is a start. I knew I had some wood type with my big collection in the basement. Time to see if I could dig it out. 

That's 62 drawers of type. Plus a few other things all type and letter press related, including a rubber stamp making machine? No idea if it works or not.  I have been dreading organizing this for a long time. But it shouldn't just sit there moldering away. So Melanie has generously agreed to help tackle things with me. I went down stairs to get a handle on what we would need to do - and hopefully find that wood type.  I think I accomplished both. I have a new pile of trash, found the wood type, figured out how two of the three cabinets go together, and also got a reminder of how much cool stuff I have. I'm missing some important things like furniture, but still, all in all I did get some good stuff.
The wood type did appear: 
Some fancy lead type: 
 And goodness knows what Jacques discovered behind the other 15 drawers of type. 
I'm starting to get excited about all this stuff. We'll see. In the mean time, I still have some letters to cut out before class and a type lesson to organize. I started planning for that last week. I think I'm going to have them take their iPads out on the town and make them photograph fonts on anything they can find. Shops, buildings, official and otherwise, book covers, magazines, printed stuff for mass-distribution, ephemera and then even some online stuff. Then we can start organizing it by category. This has always been a really good lesson. Mostly just to get them to start looking at fonts and how they are used for different purposes. But also to give them the opportunity to discovered what kind of fonts they are attracted to. Should be interesting.

In the meantime I'll leave you with this cartoon my dad sent me: