Friday, April 24, 2009

Back to Basics

I think its so interesting how tastes evolve over the years due to what's available at the time, take for instance ink colors or printing machines. When the letterpress first came out it was the hip thing to lay the ink on the surface of the paper ever so lightly, called kissing. This made it look as smooth as possible. But today, in this digital age, everything looks smooth with ink sitting on top of the paper. Which is why letterpress printers now apply pressure when laying the ink resulting in a noticeable impression in the paper. It's their way of defining their craft and standing apart from a sea of laser printers.

For me, everything seems so mechanized and mass produced by one machine or another. Which is why I began to make one-of-a kind cards and custom invitations. When an invite is embellished with hand stamped images no two are ever exactly the same. I love that! I love experimenting with applied pressure when laying a stamp; just like today's letterpress printers do. I love applying pressure at one end of a stamp and lightening up on the other to leave a kind of faded or worn off look or I can add embossing powder to raise an image off the surface entirely. I mean really there are so many different ways to try things when you hand print them. I'm only limited by the range of my imagination and creativity. Which, thanks in part to the way my parents raised me is a pretty wide range.

When it comes to machines, I'm the only one at Birdcage Cards and I'd like to keep it that way, at least for now.

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