My contribution to Margin Releases

A few years ago, I started making a piece of typewriter art. I am so grateful to the editors of the final edition of Cold Hard Type for selecting that work for inclusion in Margin Releases. It feels like the perfect place for the artwork after years of not being able to decide how to get the pieces out into the world.

I don’t want to give too much away, because I hope that people will buy the book and enjoy all the contributions fresh, with no big spoilers.

And so I will just share some photos of the machine I used to make the artworks.

The machine itself became part of the artwork.
The week I acquired this machine, I received the results of my dna ancestry test. The results, showing that I have European Jewish ancestry contributed to my desire to make the artwork.

Treasure in Bexhill

£20

(The woman at the till was so pleased that I was buying the typewriter. She told me she had taken a Pitman’s typing course, many years ago, and had struggled on a “big old huge thing” )

Edit: the hashtag is hard to find on typewriters in the U.K. I realise some readers might be confused about why I was so happy with the typeset!

On the Thames

My first zip on the cable cars yesterday. I do not have a head for heights so taking photos was a good distraction.
Getting my land legs back along Southbank, we met these guys. It was so good to see poets with typewriters again. I asked for a poem, and received a lovey response.
I love the fact that the word “unbroken” is the only word here with a typo. The poets blog included here at the top of the image 🙂

Variations

Cover design 1 in progress. Gold foil on maroon book cloth
Cover design 2. Ink on grey book cloth
Cover design 3. Silver foil on midnight blue book cloth
Jacket-slip typed on Smith-Corona Classic 12 6cpi
Pretty satisfied with the way this project has turned out. Now on to the next!

Printing without a press

This is the first test this evening of a bookplate design. A lino cut of my Underwood 5, and text printed by hand using some type I bought off eBay a few years ago. I made the text block by clamping the letters and spaces together with duck tape. I’m using oil based block printing ink, and rubbing the back of the paper with a bone letter opener. The text block is simply stamped on by hand. I do love making things completely by hand. Don’t let the lack of a printing press stop you from making prints at home.

Distraction

Yes! It’s a photo of a machine I’m happy to be addicted to. Also, I finally got around to taking some nothing else in the background shots of my Underwood Five.

What a massive hunk of machine with only one purpose. “I’m here to serve your every writing need. I promise not to distract you, or judge you. I promise I never even thought about trying to spy on your friends or track your every step around town. I won’t measure your waking hours or interrupt you when you are eating with friends and family or reading a book. I’m yours, I’m just waiting for you. Whenever you’re ready.”

Imagine what the makers of this machine would make of that imagined typewriter dialogue. They would be shocked, horrified. Amused? Bewildered? What kind of world has this machine travelled to? One in which we do still have a choice. It’s worth clinging onto choices.