I’ve just finished printing my first broadside! I love these small pieces of art and over the years have collected many of them from different artists. I’ve wanted to combine letterpress text and my photography for a long time now, but gaining access to a cylinder press hasn’t always been easy. The last time I used a Vandercook was during my Jerome Foundation mentorship year at MCBA in 2011, so I was due for a refresher course. Fortunately MCAD started offering a class in letterpress at the right time, so I’ve found myself back setting lead type, making polymer plates and working a Vandercook 219AB cylinder press!

 

About the Broadside

The broadside is completely hand printed — the image in polymergravure and the text letterpress printed in Garamond and Colonna typefaces. The image was printed first, as the paper needs to be damp for polymergravure. I chose Somerset for its ability to work well for both polymergravure and letterpress. The prints were then air dried and flattened before printing the text at MCAD on the Vandercook press.

 

The image was made in the orchard at Sissinghurst Castle and the text is an excerpt from the poem Sissinghurst by the English poet Vita Sackville-West. It was written about her beloved home, Sissinghurst Castle in Kent, where she lived with her husband Harold Nicholson, a British politician and writer.

 

About Sissinghurst Castle and Vita Sackville-West

The history of the castle goes back to the middle ages and where, in 1305, King Edward I spent a night and in 1573 Queen Elizabeth I stayed for three days. Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicholson bought the run down Elizabethan mansion in 1930 and immediately began planting what was to become one of the most famous gardens in Britain. They were both part of the Bloomsbury Group, a group of writers, poets, painters and artists that included Virginia and Leonard Woolf, Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant (both post-impressionist painters) and the writers E. M. Forster and Lytton Strachey as well as many others.

Sissinghurst

Printed: Minneapolis, Minnesota, 2018.

Edition: 25 numbered plus 3 proofs.

Description: 9.25 x 13″ single sheet broadside on Somerset paper.

Medium: Polymergravure image with letterpress text in Garamond and Colonna. Signed (not shown) and numbered on recto.

Price: $100 plus $10 shipping (U.S.)

Email me for International shipping costs.

 

Prints are usually shipped the next business day, in archival sleeves, well packaged and via USPS Priority Mail 2-Day with tracking.

What is a Broadside?

Broadside printing is done by many smaller printers and publishers as a fine art variant, with poems often being available as broadsides, intended to be framed and hung on the wall.

 

— Wikipedia