Speaking of type...
I had this idea for The Paper Studio's 2nd year (yay! we're turning 2!) where we would have assorted 2's floating in the background of the invite. Now, this is easy to do if you compose it digitally and get a plate made. But our letterpress guru, Mike O'connor decided to try something a little more unconventional.
First, he set varying shapes and sizes of the number 2 in a chase.
Then he poured plaster of paris around the type filling the chase. He set it outside to dry. Being that it was 110 degrees that day, it dried in about 15 minutes.
Once it was hardened and dry, he locked the plaster chase on the press bed for printing.
It printed like a dream--the pink print run first, then the brown print run second on our yummy teal paper by our talented papermaker, Donna.
To get the type out, Mike broke the plaster with a hammer. The type came out beautifully and no worse for the wear.
Mike has a way cool online newsletter call Galley Gab. It's about all things letterpress (I'm sure Mike will have a detailed overview of this process ;) Galley gab is a great source of info and photos. See http://www.galleygab.net/