Sunday, October 31, 2010

More letterpress adventures

There are no pictures of me in action this time as I was the only one in the studio Book Studio, due to term break and Caren is having a well deserved research break- part of which was at Otago printing press, Dunedin. So it was just me and The Beast. I was a little nervous so I did venture into the nearby honours studios and ask the conscientious students socialising working to come running is if they heard screams. But I am please to say that I did not fuck up the press or rip the paper drum (I have forgotten it's Proper Name) although I did print red hate and silver love onto it once or twice. It does sound as if it has a new wheeze but I could just be being paranoid.

I was printing up a couple of things- the extra chapzines (which is still in process but fairly straight forward as the chases are already set), and a cover for the new Flaps: Hate Mail #3. With Caren not being there to check my chases I made several mistakes. Not so many on the first plate- which I printed in red- so I could so straight over the orange of the chapzine plate and not have to clean the rollers. But with the second plate- silver- it took a a while to work out how I should set the chase and place it on the bed.
Take one:

Take Two:

There are four changes that you can see. There was more padding to bring short letters up to type high. With photocopying it's so easy to make a change to where you put a page and my mind is so geared to reversing and the paper and printing face down that it was a little weird thinking through how I had to place and set each plate. Caren would have answered all my questions in two seconds before I had placed it on the bed, where there is not enough space to turn the chases without lifting them up and therefore losing loose letters and all the paper padding you have in place.

The original idea was to have the two plates printed over each other as you can see below:

But as you can see it wasn't working. I set both plates with wooden type as they are a lot larger and you can quickly create a solid page of type. However the same scale makes over printing in this style harder read. I was realising then what was working with the two colour plates in the Nature Strip Chapzine. But the biggest and mist painful aspect about making changes when you have the chase in place , is that it takes many hours to set the plate, and a good hour to clean up so you feel very committed to getting something printed- or using the plates that you have. So an emergency decision was made to print the second plate on the back side. Here's the two sides:

It still needed something to make it work and to make it clear what the zine was about and who by. So we stamped the cover with our trusty rubber stamps- used in three Flaps editions now, the other two being Sad Sack Saturday Night and Joe Jobs.

You can buy Flaps and other zines at Sticky in Melbourne and online with Smells like zines and hopefully soon Format.


  1. Big pat on the back for the good work you did by yourself! They look great, and yes, it's tricksy, frustrating and unappreciated fiddling, but the results are always fun.

    Sorry I wasn't around... maybe next time!

  2. No it was good you weren't there- I learnt a lot with that fiddling.
    Also gain confidence with The Beast :-)