We’re launching a Projects page: a small sampling of some of Day Moon Press and associated artists’ favorite and most interesting long-term endeavors. The goal is to create small galleries and descriptions of these projects and the main aspects of their process, especially to show the broad range of possibilities in letterpress printing!
To start, we’ve written a brief, very brief summary of all the work and thought that went into executing Maralyn Crosetto’s gorgeous Italian Villa Advent Calendar. (It’s also now on our Etsy store.) We know, it’s early for a holiday piece, but Advent starts all the way back on the 1st of December! Anyway, it was only right to begin with a collaboration with Maralyn, who’s challenged Maura with beautiful, delicate books and prints and more for over 35 years.
(Headphone caution: there is a loud dog bark at the very end.)
Feeding chipboard into a cutting die to make 4″ diameter coasters. We’ve used this die for single-use restaurant coasters before but for these, we’re experimenting with varnishing them to increase their longevity. If it works, the florally printed finished product will be up in the Etsy store soon!
Not quite in time to post about it, admittedly, but in time to display it: over the last weekend of Pride Month we made a Pride Flag print for our window! Each stripe was printed from an assemblage of handset decorative pieces, initials, type, and rule. (We promise there are no secret messages in the letters of the orange and violet stripes, only conveniently sized characters.)
Besides its importance for the window display, this print was a good test run of the Vandercook that we moved in a few months ago. We haven’t replaced the rollers yet but for this kind of short, hand-inked project, it’s now in good order, cleaned and oiled and ready to go. The finished size is 12 x 20 in, which about maxes out the printable length of the bed.
We had cause to pull out the spiral binder a few weeks ago, a stack of various leftover text weight papers stored years ago, and seasonal decorative illustrations cast decades ago: these journals, in several sizes and designs, are now ready for sale! (At the shop, or online at the Etsy store.)
Each journal has 31 pages which is a comfortable number for the spiral binding and a convenient number for all sorts of things: gardening logs, chore charts, daily drawing challenges? Someone at a fair suggested dream journal for the starred ones, which is a way better concept than what we’d come up with which was cute.
Made a tree out of decorative pieces this week! It’s only slightly faster than actually planting a tree.
The materials were a collection of floral pieces that were varied enough to be interesting, numerous enough to cover the area of a 4.25×5 card, and mathematically compatible enough to keep me sane.
I mostly made it up as I worked, laying out rough chunks of the picture…
…and filling in empty space as it came.
All the empty space within the printed area has to be filled with short, non-printing spacing material so that when pressure is applied to its side walls, the whole thing can be lifted and nothing will fall out the unsupported back side.
The back side of the form shows most clearly where all the pieces are arranged, and how many it takes to fill up the grid.
I recorded video of the whole building process—absolutely unfit for human consumption in its raw, hours-long form—which I’ll be editing and putting up later this week. Keep an eye out for it if you’re interested!
The Golding press that sits in our front window has no rollers (and no working brake), and we use it exclusively for scoring, embossing, and debossing: un-inked operations.
Here, we used it to score the folds on a heavy booklet cover. It had a narrow spine defined by two scores, where the paper is indented for ease of crisp and consistent folding.
This means compressing the paper between a blunt steel edge in the bed and a grooved receiving strip adhered to the surface under the paper. The scores were so close together we couldn’t fit two strips of the receiving matrix next to each other. With some very careful math and trimming, we could use one setup for both scoring lines, turning the sheet 180° during the feed to make both sides of the spine fold.
It’s a slow feed, mostly for the fact that when the sheet is fed the second time the bump of the first fold tends to catch on the receiving matrix. But on a careful, short run it’s worth the effort to plan ahead, save time, and avoid making a second setup for another score.
We don’t keep the small, unmotorized presses just because they’re cute! For delicate projects like this, the fine control of speed by treadle operation is an advantage.
In all honesty Forte isn’t the most ideal shop cat we’ve ever had—he will absolutely sit on anything important we leave out incautiously. So we gave him a bunch of very tall shelves and cabinets as a tempting alternative.