My latest letterpress project was a poem surrounded by a jumble of wood type. Making a jumble of wood type is a lot more work than the word "jumble" implies. First I picked out letters I liked and arranged them around the poem.
Then I started arranging the letters on the press bed. I used a chase (a very helpful suggestion from the studio monitor) which made things a little easier. But there are still approximately eleventy million little pieces of lead in there. And also some bits of modeling clay in areas where I couldn't fit lead. The layout took a long time. A. Long. Time.
I pulled a lot of proofs to get the paper and chase aligned the way I wanted, and to make sure all the letters were printing more or less ok. I had to slide paper under a few letters and also add paper and clay between a couple letters that were wobbly.
The end result. Totally worth the time it took to put eleventy million pieces of lead into place.
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