15 June 2007

Type Specimens

Yesterday my wood type class installed our group projects in various places around NSCAD. Two of the groups (including mine) installed in windows off the Granville Mall/courtyard--one in the Seeds building and one in the building right next door if you're looking for it. The third group put theirs in the display case in the Duke building elevator.

I'm not normally enthusiastic about group projects, but this one was fun. The main idea for the project was mine, and I kind of felt like maybe I was too much of a control freak, but everyone kept agreeing with me . . .

(Apologies for the shadows; click photos to embiggen.) It didn't turn out quite as fabulous as I'd imagined--we had problems getting the letters to hang right, and I would have liked the book to be propped up a bit, and the backdrop is obviously a white bedsheet--but considering the time constraints and the somewhat ambitious nature of the project, I think it came out pretty well.

Here's the project from the adjacent window:

And one of the elevator:

After the installation, we walked around and did a critique, then went back to the classroom and had food. We were sort of calling it our "opening," even though our class were the only people there, so I wore my tailcoat and pinned a leftover blue N to my lapel. It was fun.

Here are a couple of closeups of my group's project.

It's hard to see, but the letters in the books are loose, and pinned in like butterfly specimens. When I made the book, I had intended to do a quick case binding that wouldn't do much other than look good in the window, but I ended up staying up late one night making a nice solid proper binding with the tapes laced into the boards, and a hollow back, and everything. It's the biggest book I've ever made, and even though the pages are only cartridge paper, it'll make a fine sketchbook (or, I'm thinking, a book for practicing calligraphy in). Assuming the rest of my group lets me keep it.

All of the letters we used were printed on a Vandercook proofing press from old wood type, then carefully cut out. (If anyone ever has a surplus of money they don't know what to do with, I'd like a Vandercook, please.)

I think ours was the only piece of the three with a title. Oh, and I didn't put my name first because I'm an egotist; my group members insisted.

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