The next stop on our Letterpress Trail following Cincinnati was Columbus, home of Moore Wood Type, one of two wood type makers in the US and a great friend to Starshaped. Scott's humble workshop is mostly in his basement, where he has just the right set up of equipment, tools (some handmade!) and wood for production. A table full of recently cut type. And a sneak peek of half rounds in the background!
Scott has also been laser cutting wood type, and here is an experiment with creating a border. After cutting a full sheet of finished, type high maple, he can then trim out the individual borders and ornaments. Working with the laser allows for greater flexibility of sizing, not to mention detail in the smaller sizes. And speed!
Happily, I got to cut my first wood type! Scott let me choose what I wanted to do, so I picked this ornamental rule that he hadn't done yet. I even got to pick the length; the final piece can be cut to any size, which is the beauty of working with a pantograph. Scott has a notebook of configurations for each of his patterns, and also makes notes directly on them so as to remember how to set the pantograph measurements to cut accurate sizes.
The first cut is the more detailed one, and you can see how the outline of the rule is taking place. After this, the cutter is swapped for a larger one to clear the solid areas that are not part of the design.
Scott made patterns for an Antique Tuscan, a typeface that's near to my heart and one we've had the longest in the studio. Because I'm missing a few letters, we thought it would be fun to make replacement characters. Here's a box of the patterns ready to be mounted, traced and cut as new wood type.
What a delight it was to visit with the Moores for two days, sharing stories, cutting type and playing with the dogs. Can't wait to see them again!
After Scott checked the fluids in the Fiat, we hit the road to Pittsburgh to visit Matt Braun of the Outdated Press. He's got a cozy shop that's enviable for its tidiness. It's the perfect collection of unique metal type and impeccably restored Pearl presses (and he's got one for sale, folks!).
Matt took us downtown to the office of Bearded, his day job. They have a fine way of mixing old and new, as web designers with a stellar letterpress studio all in the same place.
These are just a few shots of their incredible wood type collection. And you're in luck, because many of these have been digitized and are available as part of Wood Type Revival.
Four hours after leaving Pittsburgh, we made it to Buffalo to catch a few hours of sleep before participating in the Western New York Book Arts Center's annual Book Fest (read about last year's event here). I was happy to contribute another large linoleum cut for their steamroller printing, which is really a sight to see.
Despite the construction, many folks came out to the parking lot to see the steamroller in action. And thanks to the construction, we had a lot of chain link 'walls' to fill with beautiful prints on muslin. You can see my ode to The Queen City 3x3' linoleum cut here.
And here's the final result! All of the prints pulled are for sale at WNYBAC, and the proceeds all benefit the Center. Sunburned and exhausted, I took a day off before finishing up our Letterpress Trail in Rochester. Given the amount of type seen that day, I'll be saving those images for their own post! Check back soon.