Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ye Olde Printing Press

For a recent issue of Granta, one of my favorite literary journals, artistic director Michael Salu created "a typographic cover comprised of pieces of metal type used on old printing presses" to illustrate the issue's theme: Going Back. If you're as fascinated as I am with these "antiquated" processes, watch the slide show on the making of the Granta cover. About the process he writes,
‘Going Back’, is largely about memory. How do we preserve memory and deal with the marks it has left? Many of the written pieces in the issue - an agile but emotional collection of fiction, non-fiction, poetry and photography - look at memory and its physical imprints, often tackling the ravages of war and industry.
Initial brainstorming at Granta on how to visualize memory concluded that the cover itself needed an industrial veneer, something textured, aged and primed with history and wisdom. I began to think about how our preservation of memory has evolved over the years and considered how memory is becoming increasingly virtual (with even its meaning changing somewhat). Creating a cover for this issue seemed the ideal opportunity to produce something in homage to antiquated and largely obsolete processes.

If you'd like to try your hand at a revitalized art, check out The Center for Book Arts in NYC. Their next Letterpress Printing & Fine Press Publishing Seminar For Emerging Writers is scheduled for Wednesday through Sunday, November 10-14, 2010. The seminar is tuition free for participants and includes the cost of materials. Those selected must attend the entire four-day workshop. Deadline to apply: October 1, 2010.  (They also have internships, work study, artists in residence, studio rentals, exhibitions and publications!)

The San Francisco Center for the Book also offers letterpress classes, in addition to book binding, tiny linoleum printmaking, image transfers, Japanese paper marbling... the list goes on!

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