‘You can’t make a good drawing of anything unless you know how it works and what it is for’. Eric Gill
By day Eric Cartwright works at the architectural practice of Quinlan & Francis Terry who recently designed the front doors at St Catherine’s House and Kingsham Farm. But by night Eric swaps his pencils for linocutting tools and he approached us recently for help with printing these two huge unmounted linocuts of the front doors of these properties in Midhurst and Jersey which he cut on the kitchen table at home. The linocuts needed a huge amount of impression and delicate inking whilst on press so that the lettering, reminiscent of Cochin italic and drawn by Quinlan Terry, would not fill in.
Once mounted to type hight the blocks were printed on the Western proof-press – a cylinder press being the only one capable of supplying enough pressure to get a solid black. The ink was left on the storage heater overnight which helped to loosen it – the freezing temperatures here seem to make the tins solidify – and the heavy black areas at the bottom of the prints needed both machine and hand inking.
Eric is continuing a tradition of architects who have been drawn to engraving including Eric Gill (who trained with the architect W. D. Caroe in his early years) and Andrew Anderson, whose book A Vision of Order was published by The Whittington Press in 2011.
Front door at St Catherine’s House, Jersey and front door at Kingsham Farm, Midhurst measure 510mm x 720mm.
Both have been printed in editions of 50 on Naturalis Vanilla paper and signed by both Eric Cartwright and Quinlan Terry.
A limited number are available for sale by contacting eric(at)qftarchitects.com.
The Gordon Russell Museum in Broadway recently discovered boxes full of half-tone copper blocks and gave us the task of proofing them up. The blocks are photographs of Gordon Russell’s furniture and possibly date from the 1930’s when it looks like they were last printed (the detective in me spotted the blocks were wrapped in newspaper with a 1937 date). Half tones are tricky to print as the uneven blocks need plenty of ‘make-ready’ and consistent inking is crucial – too much ink and the dots enlarge, becoming splodgy, and too little ink results in a grey black. We are grateful to Angie from CFPR at UWE, Bristol, who undertook most of the printing of these blocks.
The reverse of the cards uses Gill Sans and a logo found on one of the boxes of a man at a workbench.
The Museum were happy with the proofs and we have printed some short editions of 3 blocks on Naturalis paper which are now available in the museum shop. And the Museum itself is well worth a visit, the Murphy radio cabinets my highlight.
Earlier in the year we worked with author Steven Hobbs to print his latest publication, The Moon Key. Set in 14-point Caslon, The Moon Key tells the story of ‘one woman’s loss, and the redemptive power of enduring love; where only the Moon Key can open the door’. On the title page I was pleased to be able to use 4 moons cast by Theo Rehak at ATF which represent the different stages of the lunar cycle and Jemma Lewis provided the marbled paper jackets.
Steve was inspired to print his latest book letterpress having collected the work of Alan Anderson at the Tregara Press.
The Moon Key is printed in a limited edition of 50 copies and I believe there are still a few copies available from Steve’s website here.