Listening: Gram Parsons & Emmylou Harris: Grievous Angel
Reading: Robert Southey: The Doctor &c - a battered 1836 1st American edition
A change of plans this evening. We were getting ready to meet with an advisor to discuss financial matters when the company telephoned and cancelled. This was irritating for a few moments but I soon realised that I was free to "follow my bliss" and head for the studio.
I am printing the BM bookplate - quite a big run. I carried on setting up the packing while chatting to A who had dropped in with a CD of the band he will be jamming with - great stuff. I started pulling proofs while we listened. The first few were very chalky and unsatisfactory and I gradually inceased the pressure by adjusting both the press and the packing. Things were nearly there and the final step was to ink a bit more heavily. At last, the good prints started to emerge. I set myself up with a pile of cut Zerkall paper and started to print.
This was one of those rare times when everything went well. I found my rhythm on the handpress and, gradually, the pile of blank sheets went down and the pile of bookplates grew. There were few rejects, but I need to look through them in the cold light of day - there will always be some to throw away. Here is a view of my setup at the end of the session:
You can see the block on the bed of the press and the packing taped to the tympan. I am using sheets of thin red card with a couple of sheets of acetate. I find that this gave the best hardness of packing. The upturned bin with a book on top was improvised to take the finished plates so that I did not have to move too much - sounds lazy, but it is important to be efficient in one's movement when a long run is underway. My inking table in the right is a bedside cabinet that I put on wheels. They lock to keep it still. I roll the ink out on a thick piece of glass which sits on some foam packing. The draws contain brayers, ink and clean rags. I cleaned up and left things out ready for the next run.
Much more satisfying than discussing finance! I am tired and ache a bit but I know I will sleep well tonight. A hot bath awaits.