Saturday, December 22, 2007

Flora & Flauna Handmade Paper/Letterpress Print

This was supposed to be a book for a book exchange. It started out being a book that I was going to print than make into an origami fold. But the more I printed it, the more I decided to leave it as a simple print.
The handmade paper is an "ends of the day" paper--which means it is a combination of a bunch of natural fibers--cholla, palm pine, cotton, abaca and anything else we had in the pulp refrigerator. Sometimes that makes the nicest paper. I've been intrigued with bird images this past year, so when the topic for this exchange was Flora and Fauna, I decided to print the bird cuts with old wood type that I'm quite partial to. The key thing is that you have to be careful when printing handmade paper. If there are lumps or knots in it, it can actually break or mar your letterpress cuts or type. Mostly we try and print on smooth paper so not to run into this problem (we did that once with a handmade paper made with soft inclusions where we broke an "e" in a magnesium plate). But this paper was malleable and cooperated pretty nicely. Some of the old wood type had nicks in it so they show up but that just gives it character.

Because this was supposed to be book, I had to do a little book explaining why everyone was getting a print. Sometimes, I make my life crazy!