27 Oct 2016- Practical Workshop, Introduction to Typesetting with Ben Goodman.
At a loss for words, not worbs. The letter ‘d’ and ‘b’ so easily misused in this process. Hopefully I will only make this mistake once, as it was not a quick job changing the letters squeezed by the quoins and furniture. And of course the mistake was only noticed after the letters were pushed through the ink and rollers and onto the page for everyone to see. If you are terrible speller, this is unpleasant.
It was a relief, not literally into the paper, but a relief in the sense that I didn’t have to test my drawing skills this week. I like to draw, but I am not brilliant. But drawing does come easier than words, so it is really saying something for me, when I say I was relieved to use words this week.
Actually, when I think more about it, words are less difficult when they can be a sentence or less. And I don’t mean a long, meandering sentence with no punctuation that fills a page. I mean, 10 words or less, would be my preference, if I could choose. It is wonderful when people are good with words. But not me. It is a slow and laborious process. And the slowness doesn’t help with the quality. How I start the sentence if often how it should end. You have probably noticed his. Perhaps using words could be compared to playing an instrument. If you want to play well, like in a symphony, something serious and classical, you would have had to practice, and practice and practice, for almost as long as you have used words.
I think using typeset might be only only chance for me to add a bit of humour to my work. I of course love it when art makes me smile. But I always gravitate towards doing more serious work. Perhaps it is possible to have two pots on the boil. I am thinking often of absurd children’s picture books, with some words, which could be satisfying to make and to feel they have somewhat of a purpose. And, with my serious hat on, I can keep developing that area, and perhaps the two worlds will collide one day. But, if not, I think that is okay too.
I have a feeling that Scrabble players would enjoy typeset. The sound of the furniture was a familiar wood sound heard in a scrabble match. The individual tiles of Scrabble type are like the individual typeset letters. The arrangement of type on the composing stick could be similar to composing words on a Scrabble composing rack. Oh, and another similarity, the cleverness of coming up with a good word, spelt correctly, definitely scores high.
I wonder about the writer. What feeling do they have when they write? What would be their yearning? Is it the same as any artist, the desire to make? Rather than paint as the descriptor, the words and the choice of words paint the scene. Or is that a poet? Would a poet say, I am a poet not a writer?
If typesetting/letterpress is your medium, what makes your words or my words worth printing? I guess not different than printing a drawing. But I guess it is your mark on the paper that is unique. If we all print the word Hello, does it just come down to typeface, point or picas, and the careful craft and paper stock that makes our Hello’s different? Is that different enough? But, there is a difference when we mix letterpress with our other prints, to create a layered and a very individual piece. Or, I suppose when words are not just one word, but one’s text that has been created and crafted. It is not just the investment of time, because printing Hello, does take time.
Points or picas, points or picas, points or picas, points or picas…