Wednesday, December 26, 2007

EIDOPHUSICON + a special presentation

Wednesday, January 30
7 pm in the Arts Cafe

3805 Locust Walk

The Kelly Writers House @ The University of Pennsylvania presents...


letterpress work by Matt Neff

with a presentation on press typography & ornament by Robin McDowell

The KWH Event Schedule for more info...

The Kelly Writers House Website

Saturday, December 22, 2007

notes from The Critique - December 17, 2007

update a font
hybrid fonts
create a new font

calligraphy - skills

we're paying so much attention to the print
They are like logos.

Think about the possibilities of wood, plastic, Cintra (plastic composite)...

Go visit Hoefler & Frere-Jones in NYC
Cyrus Highsmith
Font Bureau - Boston
Generate more "stuff" with them

This particular project is "static".
That particular project is "done".

PHASE II: Meeting "real" artists.

People will take you more seriously because you know the craft.
But you can do more than this. You have proved you think on many more levels, so take it there.

Cut into pre-existing wood or wood type.

Mike Perry - lettering work for Urban Outfitters

Think about 22" x 24" plex on the big press.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Documentation of a Torrid Semester-Long Love Affair.

Letterpress Blues No. 2

Billie Holiday 'Tain't Nobody's Business If I Do
High Places Golden
M.I.A. Fire Fire
Kaki King Everybody Loves You
The Dirty Projectors Imagine It

Monday, December 10, 2007

Friday, November 23, 2007

oh, the agony of packaging

we shall meet with Sybila on Wednesday from the Rare Books & Manuscripts Library @ Van Pelt.
i hope she will alleviate some of this pain.

Monday, November 19, 2007

That's a Wrap.

final printing to ensue.
talk about Thanksgiving!
I am thankful for hard maple and laser cutters and shellac.
I am not thankful for several deep breaths of denatured alcohol.
Mostly, I am thankful for the following:

Friday, November 16, 2007

loosening up. the last push.

I have finished up the last three designs for the type-high book just as I write this post. They will be cut on the laser tomorrow at 12:30.
The wood has been prepared (all of it!), thanks to an impromptu milling session on Wednesday in my pressed skirt and boots. Amusing to most - but I think I am serious about this wood lately. I need to ask for those pictures that got taken...har-har-dee-har.

I have one precious 3" x 8" slice of type-high maple left, and am debating if I should design something for the cover, or if I should re-do that awful "Handsome Dennis" from September. I ought to decide now, and "git 'r done" tomorrow.

David Comberg may bring some of my blocks/prints to an event at the Free Library of Philadelphia tomorrow afternoon. Book, Paper, Scissors: Artists' Book Fair

Unfortunately, I will also have to buy another roll of Arches cover paper in order to finish, which is expensive, and makes me cringe. If I don't drink wine for the next month... Agh, fuhgeddaboudit. But I am very keen on keeping my "eyes on the prize" - a lovely finished set of "books" with explanatory text/narrative, a set of prints, and a manual of sorts for posterity.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Friday, October 26, 2007



I finally got a reply from the guy at the wood type museum. Very
interesting that they use shellac and alcohol. We should give this a try,
given the issues on your first print.


-----Original Message-----
From: Gregory Corrigan
Sent: Wednesday, October 24, 2007 5:06 PM
To: Dennis Pierattini
Subject: Re: Wood Type

Hi Dennis,

I'm very sorry that it has taken me so long to respond to your question.

Our museum cuts wood type from hard maple. The wood is sealed before it
is cut into wood type. We cut wood type on end-grain. After the wood is
dried it is sanded to a smooth flat finish on the side that the letter
will be cut from. The next step is to plane the the wood to make it
type high; (.918 inches). The wood is then sealed by spraying it with a
50/50 mixture of orange shellac and alcohol. The wood is sprayed on
both sides. After the shellac has dried, it is lightly sanded with 300
grit sandpaper on the smooth side, on the side the letter will be cut.
This side is then sanded with 0000 steal wool.

The shellack is water based; it is important to keep water away from
wood type. Water can compromise the finish, allowing the ink to be
absorbed by the wood; the result is uneven ink coverage. I hope this
information is helpful.

Please call me if I can help you with this project in anyway.

Gregory R. Corrigan

Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum
Two Rivers, Wisconsin

-----Original Message-----
From: Dennis Pierattini
Sent: Tue, Oct 2 3:52 PM
Subject: Wood Type


I run the fabrication facility here at the School of Design
at the University of Pennsylvania. I have a student doing an independent study in creating wood block type using a laser cutter. We’ve been very successful creating the type digitally and then engraving the wood blocks with the laser, however,
the wood seems to absorb the ink, producing a very faint impression.

Might you be able to help us out with this? We are using hard maple. Is wood type typically sealed before use, and if so what is the traditional method? Or is there a different technique that we ought to be aware of?

Any help on this would be very much appreciated.

Thank you,

Dennis Pierattini
Manager-Fabrication Laboratory
School of Design
University of Pennsylvania

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

scenes from the fabrication lab.


Milling Machine...

and Its Aftermath...

Table Saw...


My Offpspring...

Precision and Documentation...


Sunday, October 21, 2007