Wednesday, 30 April 2014

On Hares and Haring

I love hares.
I love suddenly seeing one scampering across a field in a rare sighting of camouflaged elegance.
I love how they run: part fox, part deer.
I love how they disappear in the middle of a field for as long as I try to find them, then reappear suddenly, as if magicked from nowhere.
I love how they run in circles in play with others, sometimes so close they become one. I have mistaken two charging in spirals for a retriever. It reminds me of the story of the tiger that ran so fast around around it melted into pancake mixture. (Not this pancake story)
I love spotting them crouched, black-tipped ears akimbo, motionless in the middle of a field, and waiting for them to feel safe enough to charge low to a dyke.
I love catching sight of one through the window, as it lollops up the lane towards the saltmarsh, hind legs coiling and extending in slow loops.
I love trying to keep up with them through my binoculars racing the fields - creating a tense energy standing still.
I love how they're not kept as pets like rabbits.
I love that I live in a place where they live, even if it means I find them ripped dead, killed by people who don't love them but see them as sport and don't respect them enough to eat them, but leave them flung aside or strung up on fences as a trophy to their dogs and therefore them.
I love and therefore I pain. I anger therefore I love.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Letterpress and [more] Rubberbands

The next pamphlet is in mid-production. I've made its cover using letterpress. Only nine words and it took the best part of a day to print forty. From the perspective of someone used to pressing a number, any number, for print and away they go (rather than someone who has been used to handwriting manuscripts) it made me re-evaluate the imperative of communication, the weight of every word. How necessary was something to say if it was going to take all day to say it? This small pamphlet came out of a coinciding of the first of the big winter storms here, in December 2013, which was the biggest for us and ill-health. It feels pretty important, or at least valuable.

Letterpress, also, cuts down on potential faffing. Once the block was made I knew it was going to have to be pretty awful for me to change the layout of the words. Fortunately it wasn't. In fact I like it very much. The ink colour and places where it did and didn't take to the card please me greatly. I love the imperfections through the print run.

Getting the right amount of ink on the block, as evenly as possible, and not allowing it to double fuzz as I rolled over the letter was serious work. You can tell I'm a little harassed by my hair - totally absorbing work too. So maybe the hedge-backwards look is a combo of the two

The weight of the roller was just delightful, how it trundled across the letters so tightly packed into their block. I'm a keen pastry maker (and eater) and this was better than any rolling pin I've had the pleasure to use.

Plus some top facts:
> The origin of upper- and lower case comes from where the respective letter racks were positioned (above and below each other).
> Mind your ps and qs - because they're next to each other in the boxes and are reversed they can be easily confused (as can bs and ds but there is c between them for storage)
>Wrong end of the stick comes from setting your words the wrong way along the stick (which holds each line of lettering) so read back to front.

I was told more but had too much going on in my head that day to hold on to them. Besides I suspect it's far more interesting if you've grappled physically with these concepts...

So with the covers printed (not yet folded) I've only to decide the colour of the inside card, the images for the tracing paper and how many rubber bands to use for each before I'm ready to roll them out on Thursday 22nd May - alongside Astrid Alben and Claire Dean - at the Gregson Centre, Moor Lane, Lancaster. 7.30pm onwards... All welcome