christmas PEACE cards

November 6, 2009

On Wednesday I began making paper for Christmas cards. I wanted to see how they would hold up in press, as I’ve heard the inconsistency of a sheet of handmade paper sometimes makes for some shoddy letterpress, but I printed yesterday and I really love the way they turned out! Did I mention the Book Arts Center also has a papermaking studio?

Papermaking is a really fun and easy endeavor. Two summers ago I lived with my best friend in Savannah, GA, and our conversation on the drive down south included the two of us deciding we wanted to learn how to make papen. Thus sparked my interest in handmade paper. I made paper out of junk mail, cereal boxes, even spanish moss (until I learned it has living, biting organisms in it!) and continued the practice through my senior year of college. The paper I printed on yesterday was made out of recycled brown paper bags. Handmade paper is so beautiful and unique–every single sheet is different and I especially think the variations of color and the deckle (natural edge) are to die for.

So after I dried the paper yesterday, I found a pretty woodblock flourish in a drawer in the studio and chose some woodtype to print with. We have been doing some major hunting-down/organizing of our woodtype collection and it has paid off immensely–wait until you see the front & back covers of the GCAE Friends of the Book Arts Calendar that Geri, a printer from the GCAE, is putting together! It’s fantastic! This is one of the best font collections we have in woodtype–I’m not sure what it’s called. The capital letters are especially gorgeous, so that’s what I chose for the front of the cards. I printed a very small edition of these cards, so I actually inked up the flourish and woodtype by hand each time I cranked a card through. Even though you get a much more consistent image when you ink up the rollers and let them evenly ink the form for you, I didn’t want to go through the whole process of inking up the rollers and having to clean them for such a small number of cards. When I print with intricate details or small type is when it’s really important to get a clean, even amount of ink on the forms–it doesn’t so much matter with bulky woodtype (and I like the inconsistent look that comes with hand-inking the woodtype).

I was so excited to print these yesterday and I’m so pleased with the way they came out. I listed them on my Etsy if you want to buy some to send out to loved ones this Christmas! Enjoy!

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