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Feb 5 / Scott

Wolske Straight Line Banners

There are now thirteen additional new catchwords in the Moore Wood Type Store.  However, they are not reproductions of historical wood type. They are inspired by historical designs but new, original work.

The first set is the work of David Wolske.  He is a well known Typographer, Graphic Designer, Letterpress printer & artist. David is a cofounder of Smart & Wiley, and  runs the wood type and letterpress blog Letterpress Daily.  He is the Creative Director for the Book Arts Program & Red Butte Press at the J. Willard Marriott Library, where he also teaches at The University of Utah, in Salt Lake City.

David is also one of the original members of the Advisory committee for Moore Wood Type.  They are a group of printers, and friends, who I can e-mail my ideas to for feedback, and ask them questions for “Real working Printers”.

Over two years ago I asked him if he would design some catchwords for me to cut.  I named his design for this set of six new catchwords “Wolske Straight Line Banners”.

“I love reversed out streamer wood types and I love catchwords – combining the two seemed like a natural fit. The lettering derives from William H. Page’s No. 509 because of its allusive flexibility. I wanted the design to be somewhat timeless; to work comfortably in a contemporary design context while still implying antique origins,” explained Wolske.

I spent the past two years trying to figure out how to make plywood patterns that I could trace and cut on my pantographs. I ruined a lot of prepared maple, and made four different patterns trying to figure out how to cut the thin lines and little triangles in the design. Rick Von Holdt, another gifted printer from Iowa, and I finally figured it out  by looking at the original tracing patterns at the Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum in Two Rivers, Wisconsin.  They solved the problem by stacking the pattern pieces in thin layers, which allowed for cutting the thin lines with thicker tracers.

Though I have not yet tried the Hamilton method for cutting the Wolske Banners, I do now have the proper patterns. However, I have also discovered laser cutting provides a viable option. I have been a member of a local shared technology group for the past six months and now have access to a 60 Watt Laser.  It has opened a whole new area of producing wood type. The set of banners I am now selling have been cut into the polished and sealed end grain slabs that I already use with my  pantographs. They use the same Vector art files David created for the pantograph patterns.

All three sizes of banners, 6, 8, and 10 line, are laser cut.  They are sold as a set or individually.

The other Columbia Catchwords are my design and will be covered in the next blog.  I’ve got to get back to cutting type.

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