Buffed up Brother

Though I’m pleased with the way this brother turned out, I’m just not in love with the plastic shell. During cleaning I noticed that the body sported some redundant screw holes and tabs and so I’ll be interested to see if I can swap out the plastic for a spare metal shell I have (nicer design and also blue!) That’s a job for another day though. For now I have a few letters to write to put this machine back into proper use. I treated it to a new ribbon all its own too. There’s nothing like a clean typewriter with a new ribbon.

Two screwdrivers and an action figure.

Or, how to take the shell off your brother without dismantling the machine.

Post first clean

Remove the two screws under either side of the carriage on the plastic frame. You will need a flat head screwdriver. Prise the plastic shell up from the plastic base. It will resist with as much force as a teenager confronted with a hot shower and soap. Be firm but understand its point of view. Engage shift. Slide carriage all the way to the right. Lift the shell up and over the carriage.

I once saw a YouTube video of a guy struggling to get the shell off a Lettera 32. He ended up removing the carriage lock or something. I don’t know, it was too painful to watch all the way through. The same basic procedure here can be followed for a Lettera 22 or 32. ( And it was my previous experience in Letteras that meant I wasn’t fazed by this hunk of plastic )

The base is fixed with four feet screws. You will need a Philips / cross-head screwdriver.
All assistance gratefully received
Make sure your cotton buds have paper stems!

Oh Brother! One careless owner

Telltale spider poo
Deciphering messages from the past

Ok it doesn’t look -that- bad, really. No dead things other than pools of molten rubber washer here and there, and the crusty tippex. And I have this adventure all for free, so I should not complain too much. The ribbon has provided a lot of fun this morning for my teenage assistant. we should have this one typing by the end of the day. What better way to spend a pandemic Sunday together. May your typewriter adventures stay cool.

Mystery box

We saw this nice old box left out on the street. Since it had a sturdy handle and looked like it would make a nice box for storing LPs in, we took it home.

The handle is also the closing mechanism, the sections of the box are secured by tongue and groove along the top edges

Wow! No way you can store LPs in this box unless you rip out all the original features. And we don’t want to do that! The most interesting detail for me is the printed instruction on how to operate the telephone this box once held. Such a shame only the box remains and in a pretty parlous state of repair ( the front section was coming adrift and we glued that back together straight away) .

Is this where the phrase “get on the blower” comes from?
There are some faint pencilled additions to the diagram here and there

We both searched for information about the telephone itself, and neither of us could find anything that resembled this set up. The box will get a thorough but gentle clean. It looks like it’s been home to a few mice at some point.

Blackout poems with slowness

Normally I would browse second hand books for blackout poetry. Retyping the text out of necessity makes me think I should always do it this way from now on. I hope this is a way back into writing, a way to climb out of the lockdown brain fog pit

Street finds

Picked up on the streets of London
Picked up on the streets of St Leonard’s

I hated the plastic body of the Lettera 82 so much I decided to leave the machine naked. The plastic body is a disgrace to the name of Lettera , and what’s more it took two of us to get it off, and once off, seemed too much hassle for too much ugly to bother getting sweaty over.


In progress

Unfinished ( only just started) altered portrait number 3. I tend to start with the eyes or an eyebrow. Who knows how it will turn out… The eyes are speaking to me so I will carry on.

I’m making these portraits using a vintage studio portrait as my starting point.

She looks like a movie star in the photograph, but I am not interested in replicating what the photographer had in mind.

Last week I went to the Frieze Art Show in London. There were no typewriters but many pairs of fancy pants parading around. It was a lot of fun and it made me think hard about what I want to do when I make marks on paper. I had a deep discussion about the origins of art and it transpires I’m a romantic. Not really a surprise!

Ok, have a good weekend x