Peace, shalom, as-salaam ’alaykum, wa chxw yuu & etc. for 2022. Don't blow it.


HM Studio Tour, Just This Once

Sometimes people ask to visit HM. I say no. It’s where I work (& play), so it’s private. Anyone interested in printing won’t find anything unusual. But here are a few highlights, parts I think are interesting. 

The shelves shown above hold some of the books that have been the focus of most of my work-related reading (& acquiring) this year. 

This was my first book press, and remains my most used. I learned from Claire Van Vliet to adhere mill board to the bed & platen (I use double-sided tape). Less chance of doing damage to the covers of a book. But I generally use 0.25-inch acrylic boards to sandwich anything going into the press anyway. That’s the first trial binding for HM=XX.

When HM=XX is released, next spring, I’m going to have a garage sale of remnants and samples left over, all sewn up into some presentable form.

Big books are kind of a pain. You rarely pull them off a shelf on a whim. I keep my folios in the studio because it’s the only place I know there will always be somewhere to put them down. 

I love this print. It’s an etching. I can’t read the artist’s name, but she came from a family of printers and made this when she was living in Montreal. For me, it captures how exhausting printing by hand can be, but you can’t stop because the run’s not finished. 

That's my “Yannick Jauzion” Laguiole knife on the lanyard. It’s not actually that useful in the studio, but it’s gorgeous. And you can never have too many knives around. 

I love old drafting instruments, interesting looking bits of machinery (especially brass), and any small tool that looks like it might be useful. That mechanical pencil is Italian. David Clifford used it back in his pre-digital designer days. I have no idea what that brass crucible, with nested ones inside, is for. The Kern stainless steel dividers I use when binding. The butterfly knife was made by a guy I met in Buenos Aires. I’m still learning to open it without slicing off my fingers.

Good ink (which always means oil-based) is getting hard to source. I keep a stash under the bench. 

I have to start using some of the printing papers I’ve been hoarding. It’s always a struggle because I know I’ll probably never get more like it, so saving until maybe the next project always seems the prudent decision.

As I said, hoarding. That package of 300 g Fabriano came to me from the artist Takao Tanabe. He’d purchased it in the late 1950s, when he was working as a job printer, and never used it. Paper hoarding must be a common affliction for printers. 

Then there are the drawers of paper...

And at the end of a day of work at HM, this is what it looks like outside the studio (seriously):

I probably will post once or twice more this month. I have some show-&-tell from a 19th-century American printer that should be amusing. Stay safe, be kind to each other.