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Form as Print


Building printing forms with furniture and reglets. A form on the Cary Graphic Art Collection’s Vandercook SP20. (Val Lucas)


Suzanne Powney: “Printing Expressively with Furniture and Reglet, a Typographic Map”

9 am-noon  friday, october 23

In this workshop, participants were shown that the horizontal beds of a Vandercook proof press and an Albion hand press are ideal for printing wood furniture and reglets—materials not normally thought of as relief surfaces—to create printing forms in the shape of maps and skylines. To inspire us, instructor Suzanne Powney shared pages from her 2015 calendar that used this technique.


Closeup of a form using reglets and funiture as a printing surface. (Val Lucas)

Participants made reglets type-high by adhering them with double-sided tape to a thin plank of wood. Foregoing traditional lockups, it was easy to create a flowing, abstract layout of shapes and lines to represent a map or skyline. Where needed, em-quads were taped down to help support the reglets. Large furniture was used to provide solid areas of color. When the compositions were finished, these forms were placed on the bed of the Cary Collection’s Vandercook SP20 and carefully inked and printed.

The group created two maps, one of London and one of Seattle, and printed two image layers on each sheet using different forms on the Vandercook. Once the map layers were complete the sheets were moved to an Albion (not the Kelmscott-Goudy press, but another one once owned by Frederic Goudy) to be over-printed with the name of the city, set in wood type and hand-inked in a third color. A couple of participants were quite taken with the results and said that might continue to experiment with this technique.

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