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Work update

So last semester, got to bring together a report and a final piece.

Book of collected ideas and working thoughts and processes of the journey I took to understand what is punctuation?

6 posters that show a craft/handmade element of the letterpress I’ve found (mainly punctuation.)

The report is to be written (3000 words) and I’ll bind it.

I’m currently experimenting with embossing, printing with various inks and papers and trying out my new pieces of letterpress.I’ve uploaded my photos to flickr so you should be able to see them with a refresh.

I’m really enjoying the simplicity of arranging the letterpress punctuation and printing; it’s really refreshing to just go back to craft and make stuff. I feel so much more creative when I know I’m making things, especially when the outcome of the printing is varied and not perfect. (Which honestly, drives me nuts.)

Working experiments…

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I’m not a graphic designer

For a while I have struggled as what to do with my life, job, education, career etc. I had thought I wanted to do a PH.D. and given the chance I still would; the end of my MA is approaching quicker than I’m ready for and I will really miss academia.

I suppose the problem is that my area of research (typography/language/punctuation) is already whittled down to a finite niche area and in some respects I’ve shot myself in the foot. Yet, I’ve loved every minute of reading, trying to understand what punctuation is, how it works, how to break it and put it back together, though what for?

I’m a bit lost. I’m not a graphic designer, nor am I a typographer in the true sense of the word. I’m a creative, I know that. I love language though I don’t know if I can write, I haven’t studied linguistics though the research has lead that way. So what to do?

I know I’m so lucky, that my educational outcome isn’t reliant on needing a job straight away. Yet I still want to produce and be creative as otherwise all this hard work could have been for nothing.

I guess I have some more thinking to do!

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Very naughty!

So I haven’t been and updated here for ages. So tonight, I will upload all my bits I’ve been working on and maybe write a word or two.

I must work. I must work. I must work.

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Rough ideas…

I’m currently trying to understand ‘interruptions’ or ‘punctuation’ in everyday life. In the space we occupy and traverse through. I have to admit, I think this is a tangent not worth following; it is arbitrary to my main body of research. However, at my tutorial I did mention I was stuck and I think my tutor was trying to give me some ideas to go forward.

I keep getting asked ‘why’, what am I trying to understand about punctuation. I don’t have the answer right now, other than my work is an exploration into understand marks that are apparent in our system of writing.

I don’t want to document a history of the punctuation mark, rather understand where it is going, will it evolve as language does and how is it influenced by technologies. Letterpress, handwriting, emails and so on.

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An inherited tin and a hand!

This is our new button tin (filled to the top with some beautiful buttons at least 50 years old!) and a lovely hand sign found in York today. Picture quality is a bit poo but then I can blame that on the pants camera in the iphone!

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Watmoughs Printing firm 1888-1965

Sadly my Nanna passed away earlier on in the year and we now have the sad task of finally clearing away the last of her possessions. So it is to my joy that we discovered she had a small collection of books and items, that are of great typographic importance (well to me anyway.)

So far I’ve inherited lovely typeset books, a gorgeous typewriter, tins with Eric Gill’s Gill Sans loving set on the top, bibles, 1950’s cake boxes, a vice and other typesetting tools!

My Uncle who works for PoleStar Watmough, dug out a book that had been presented to him. It is a history of Watmough printing company, from 1888 through to 1965. I have to say it is quite a boring book, the information and history isn’t presented in a particularly exciting way and it doesn’t divulge too much information about type. However, there are some lovely pictures, with which the nostalgic part of me harks backs to a hand made/craft time.

Interesting to see that the only women present are those in the Bindery…

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The Bindery 1958 and the Linotype (hotmetal)composing room.

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The Rotary newspaper press and Catalogue print run.

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The composing room/metal type chests.

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I’ve been collecting bibles for a while now. Today I managed to add five more to the collection!

I love old books, the experience and history of an old book, it is something that needs to be cherished and appreciated.

Anyway, £28 for bibles that are exquisitely bound, letterpress and and are well over a collective age of 200 years! One is a Catholic version, heavy and feels authoritative, gilded edges and embossed. Beautifully set and with shoulder notes, justified text, over large numbers; it really is something to marvel at.

My other quirky purchase is a ‘Reading from the Holy Scriptures for Jewish soldiers and sailors. A small pocket bible that was taken to war and has some wear to prove it!

I find it ironic that the little book was put in a war scenario, a war that was ultimately against the Jews in some respects.

I love the type setting, the chunkiness, the raw honesty of the text, the layout. How it was to be used, who was to use it. These are things that I felt I’ve overlooked in my research so far. The academic part pushing the research rather than understanding the design context.

I’ve uploaded the images to flickr, I’ve decided to make a more thorough exploration into understand the changes of language within each Genesis example. Hopefully, speaking to a Theologian will give more clarity on meaning, what emphasis the punctuation carries for the words. How these are interpreted by the viewer and how socially and culturally they impact on understanding and true meaning.

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Keep the Tangents!

So uni has started again! YAY!

I have a mountain of work that seems to be growing and I’m needing to create some type of map that is showing my thought processes and decision making. I don’t even know what that is, as I tend to just follow my instinct and whether I like it.

So keep the tangents on the slow burner and work out the work! (Easier said than done!)

On another note: A lovely project about 100 colours, writings and days.

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West Yorkshire Print Workshop

A good friend of mine runs a design collective called Mill and whilst browsing through the pages I noticed a course being held on photo etching. So click link and violia the WYPW website pops up. I’m utterly gutted that I can’t do the photo course (holidays!) but I am going to become a member and enrol on some of their other courses.

I thought it would be quite good to add the etching side of things to the skill set. I’ve been considering creating some woodcuts over the summer. Experimenting with inks, cuts and so forth. However, I wanted to take a month off of research due to lots of things happening here. Also to recharge the batteries a bit.

The call of working is luring me back, I acutally miss being immersed in the research and reading, though my social life tends to suffer for the love of the art! Anyway, I shall visit Hobbycraft today and see what type of etching and wood/lino cutting tools they have!

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Ongoing work

Next week is hand in for three projects:

1. Project Development Two (Punctuation)

2. Negotiated Brief (Environmental Type)

3. Research for practice two

Suffice to say that I’ve managed to get all of my printing and binding done, with just a report to write for RFP 2.

The binding for some of the punctuation layouts have been a mare, and sadly one of them went horribly wrong. I had the grids and paper all aligned but it hasn’t worked how I planned and I haven’t the time to reset it all again.

I’ve also thought it a good idea to start to take photos of my work space, to show how it changes with the work I’m creating. I’ll keep dumping those down to flickr.

*Note to self, find a new and better flickr widgit for the gallery!

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