I have been talking with David Wolske (letterpressdaily.com) about various topics surrounding wood type. One topic has been pricing this stuff. Each of the fonts that I offer in 4 sizes, caps, lowercase, figures, and 5 different schemes have 60 different prices. Way more complicated than I imagined, especially when you try to load the store with a new font.
I was telling David that I did not want to publish prices for missing character replacement because of all of the variables that would enter into figuring out prices. One thing lead to another and since I need real-world experience with making missing characters I asked David if there were any fonts in his collection that are missing characters. He offered that his 72 line gothic font needs a few characters. Sounded like something interesting to figure out.
In the middle of January we had a letterpress party at our house to honor Amos Kennedy who was in town for a few days showing his movie, giving lectures and a couple of workshops at the Genesee Center for the Arts. This was really the first time that many people have seen the workshop and all of the stuff there.
This was the demo I gave the couple of people who were interested in trying to make a piece of wood type. The machine was set up to make hearts which I gave out as party favors.
Sue Sims took these photos and sent them to me the other day. This is the first time someone has taken a sequence of pictures that shows the machine and me in the act of making type. Thanks Sue.
Putting the blank into the cutting side.
Putting the pattern into the tracing side.
Starting to rout the heart.
Cleaning up the background.
We just made a heart. Happy Valentine's Day.
The VirginWoodType.com web site is a work in progress. Some things seem to be “done” and as always there are more things left to do.Here you will find something unique–new wood type. I use end grain maple, a pantograph, old patterns, and a sharp knife. This is hand made type made with American trees.
Right now we are offering 5 faces and you can order through our shopping cart or by contacting me through email. firstname.lastname@example.org
Pricing is still a work in progress and I hope to publish some pricing tables in the next few days. At this time pricing is calculated in the shopping cart and each face can have up to 60 different prices when you count all of the font schemes and sizes. Continue reading
I have a beautiful set of patterns for Stencil. They are carved into side grain maple, 24 lines high. These were made by Stephenson Blake & Company and appear in the 1961 AWT catalog.I cut the word Stencil in 12 line end grain and a full alphabet in 10 line end grain. This font requires very little finishing and is available in sizes up to 12 lines. Continue reading
Here is a photo of some of the Playbill patterns. They are 27 picas tall and are varnished pine plywood tacked to pine blocks. These patterns are one sided and some of the letters have been removed from their original backing and put onto “new” blocks. That was probably some time ago.These patterns seem to have been around for a long time and a few of the letters were recut somewhere along the line. Most of the square serifs are rounded from years of use. Here is a detail of the capital X. You can see where the counters are very worn especially in the thin channels between the serifs.The man that I purchased the patterns from had this to say about the entire collection. Max and Rube Mandel were the brothers who owned American Wood Type Mfg. Co. Continue reading
The first font that I chose to work on is Rugged which is the American Wood Type version of Neuland. The biggest reason to start here is that my wife Geri requested it. The other reason was that I have two set of patterns for the font, though one is in much more useable condition than the other. The final reason is that I really like this font.
I have two sizes of Rugged from the collection, 36 pica and 27 pica. Of the two, the 36 was complete and in much better shape. Both sets of patterns are made of pine plywood that was tacked onto both sides of pine blocks.