Some weeks ago Elena brought me a set of cast metal sorts from Italy, a gift from an old typographer. She knows I have a soft spot for typography, analog processes and old machinery: letterpress printing is a good example. I love all that stuff.
I decided to build a small letterpress so I could use the types. I checked which materials I had in my material box and I found some scraps from past experiments. Three blocks of wood (I’m pretty sure is Mahogany), brass little rods and some copper. These random pieces defined the shape of the little letterpress.
I made a little ink brayer with some parts of an old radio cassette player I found in the studio.
Despite typography and letterpress printing is everything about accuracy, I must say this is not the most precise letterpress ever. This type of wood is really hard and thin drills were bending. Also I couldn’t work with a precise router this time (I used a Dremel with the router table).
I made a little video of one of the first print tests:
Last weeks at CIID I’ve been involved mainly in research projects and mentoring the students on their final projects, not much hands-on prototyping. This little press project has balanced the thinking with some making.
There are some more pictures in my Flickr set.