So to many this might seem a treasure trove and indeed these craft resources are but as I cleared them away and reorganised them I found a box hidden behind. It was covered in dust and had not been moved r opened for a long, long time.
My Great-grandfather, my Grandfather and my Dad were all printers. My Dad was the last in this line and when he retired all the tools of his life went with him. This box represented the small portion of these I had kept, my mementoes from my families livelihood of generations.
First I came across an envelope. It was full of cards that my Dad had printed. This prompted me to look up Andrew online and I came across his fascinating obituary. I remember him clearly and his paintings. Looking at them now I realise they are from a different era. The London he painted has changed and moved on. You can see one of his pictures here but his work, sadly, seems to be largely forgotten as it is the only one I could find online. He was a lovely man whose personality shows through clearly. Looking at his pictures took me back in time...
Then underneath I came across other things my Dad used. My Dad was an old-fashioned printer. No computers or high-tech. His machines had whirring arms and little suction cups along them to pick up paper. The machines had a rhythm that made you want to dance. Something like this. He set type by hand. I could have taken type away by the ton, different fonts, different sizes - it was all there.
Of course I didn't. I had no idea it would later be of interest to me. I took some large wooden blocks of letters and punctuation marks, a small set of metal type in one font, some blocks of varying sorts and some decorative elements.
The blocks were pieces commissioned for regular use or were pictorial. Companies would have a block made of their logo for instance and it would stay with the printer for use whenever they had something printed. I have some company logos, crests, pictures, that sort of thing.
The decorative elements are things like border pieces. I have a lovely wooden case with little blocks you can use to build up borders. I also discovered a small bag with decorative type, most smaller than a cm squared. These will be used for adding printed elements to my art and will remind me of where I come from every time I use them.
I also have heavy metal frames type was set in and all sorts of spacers and things with which the type was set within the frame. Some of the pieces could be expanded to hold the type in place.
Of course looking at this wonderful treasure trove, I wish I had kept more. How much should we ever hold on though? If I had more would I appreciate it as much? I kept a representative sample....
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