Crossing the Teas and Printing the Eyes

I’ve called it Serendipity. It was that hippy mentality that -everything means something man- that has clouded my thoughts.

A day at the Penrith Printing Museum and one more day to stand back has indicated that it’s simply me making choices.

I had some sort of quotes swimming in my head, no clear ones. Maybe “Duh.Winning”?  I had to make it short.  When I got there and saw the beauty in the actual type I realised I was going about it the wrong way. It wasn’t about the quote, I wanted to use the letters as objects in a work.  The wonderful Steve and Scott had mentioned there was some picture blocks and waved in a general direction but said don’t get caught up due to time restrictions.

So..it began after a run down on chase, locks, spacers and furniture  I said I wanted to check out the picture type and the work would follow.  That was what happened. It was a steam punk jewellery store where each rusted tray held small gems of reversed images.  An eye between compasses blinked back at me and of course the inner-hippy went “it’s a sign!” and I mumbled something to Scott about Flinstones and Masons. What a patient person he is.

I had decided that the Masonic Symbols that had reared their blinking heads lately would be a basis. I looked for the connection in type. The beautiful old wooden type with carved curves passed over for Xes and Vees, letters that would echo shapes.  Scott indulged my whims even further as I yelled across the shed “You wouldn’t have seen an eye hanging around?” Of course I was in a type museum and the letter “I” was part of the population but he knew what I meant, an actual eye and he knew where “I” was going.

The end product design wise wasn’t wonderful, I would’ve maybe looked at making the composition tighter but I loved the process. Like printmaking it’s a combination of procedure and surprise. The Vandercook machine that we printed on was wonderful.

I loved the hunt for the objects, the feel of the wooden blocks, the spacers, the rollers and machinery.  The backdrop with looming metal machines, stained wooden blocks, crisp white paper, cool smoothed litho stones and tacky luscious ink were all the attributes of excellent Feng Shui. Maybe the hippy-me was finding my chi in printing.

Just an additional note. This wonderful Museum is run on dedicated volunteers at the back of a Paceway, trotters in the background and Penrith Football Stadium just a litho stones throw away. If only some of that money from the footballers were channeled into keeping this special shed alive, it would be a perfect world. If you know someone that would sponsor or throw money at them please let them know.

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