We’ve been making broadsides for awhile now. First with Chad Pastotnik over at Deep Wood Press (“The Trout in Winter”), and now at our own Big Maple Press. What’s a broadside? We get asked that a lot. In short: a one-page work of art and text suitable for framing.
But there’s more to it than that. The art in this case is intaglio—etchings on zinc plate, which are hand rubbed with ink, placed in an etching press, and embossed deeply into the paper. Glenn then hand colors each one.
The text is hand set with lead type and printed on a Vandercook letterpress, one sheet at a time, each inspected with care to make sure every letter and comma is impressed. The result, as a friend once said, allows you to feel “the way letterpress crushes the tooth of fine paper.”
Anyone who takes a letterpress broadside or book in their hands knows immediately why it has value: because so many of the artifacts of our culture are mass-produced, flimsy, cheap, gaudy, meant to be used and thrown away, digital, weightless, forgettable. We’re trying to makes works of art that you will own for life and pass on to your children.
And when the print run is complete, we retire the etching and disassemble the type and redistribute it back into the type case.
We think Glenn’s process is so cool, we wanted to share it with you.
(Mouseover images for detailed captions. Click any image for slideshow)
This print is now available