The Wipers Times

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Glad to see BBC2 is showing a drama based on the story of The Wipers Times.

For those who haven’t heard about it – it was a trench-based newspaper, started after a couple of infantry soldiers found a treddle-platten in war-torn Ypres. Go check it out (or “The Best Bits” book, from Ian Hislop and Malcolm Brown) – dark humour that’s exceptionally funny.

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The ability of the printing press to bring some happiness to people in such dire circumstances, almost brings a tear to the eye. A friend told me a similar, but more recent story; during the Sri-lankan civil war, the northern town of Jaffna was cut off by the government.. but a local paper (Uthayan) was able to continue by rediscovering letterpress printing and get information to its readership, in a country synonymous with state-censorship and misinformation.

The above work, uses Stephenson Blake 10 line Johnston woodtype circa 1916 (as used on the tube); in honour of underground presses!

Antipodes

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Here’s one straight from the press; directionally accurate to within 6 Pica when hung vertically anywhere in the world.  No calibration required.

For those who don’t know, the antipodes of where you are, is the exact opposite of where you are – on the other side of the globe (if that makes any sense?).

In New Zealand, however, if you mention the Antipodes, people tend to think of a distant off-shore group of inhospitable volcanic islands to the south of NZ (They lie 860 kilometres to the southeast of Stewart Island/Rakiura). The islands are home to amazing mega herbs and a ground-dwelling parakeet (among an amazing array of flora and fauna).

Interestingly, here in London, we are roughly antipodal to The Antipodes, but the term more frequently refers to both New Zealand and Australia. I quite like being called an antipodean, gives a touch of Ol’ world glamour…

For those interested, this lovely old copper-topped arrow is printed alongside a worn Day and Collins ‘Caxton #6’ wooden font; inked with a shaded 2-colour affect inspired by the colour of the Antipodes Island parakeet (Cyanoramphus unicolor)!

Late night printing.

 

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A productive evening with my daughter; took her to swimming class, got a little tree, and printed my Christmas cards. She’s loving Christmas in London. Now it just needs to snow.

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Hooksmith in London

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After 15 months printing in Hamilton NZ, Hooksmith Press relocates to East London UK.  3 months at sea, and a few issues getting everything into our mid terrace, Leytonstone rental.. most things are unpacked and setting the first form can … Continue reading