11 x 14 in
Letterpress from Handset Metal Type
This piece is included in the New Impressions Exhibition on display at the museum April 17-June 30, 2018. There are a limited number of these prints available.
Laura Bentley is proprietor of Pinwheel Press in Seattle where she produces social stationery and limited edition prints. She enjoys the focus on process and attention to detail that letterpress printing demands. Her passion is printing with handset type whether printing in her own studio or assisting with classes at the School of Visual Concepts. Only partially joking, Laura feels like a childhood filled with drawing, Legos, and the Milton Bradley game Operation have prepared her well for the world of handset metal type. Her current focus is using ornamental metal type to create pattern and illustrations.
"City Traffic" is entirely composed with handset metal type. Type originally designed to print decorative borders is arranged to create an illustration of a city skyline and vehicles with whimsical details. Small Roman columns form tree trunks and a pile of logs on a logging truck. Flowers are used as wheels for the cars from the era of Flower Power. Square metal type sorts become packages on the roof of a car. For each section of type there were many iterations of typesetting to experiment with pattern and to refine a visual vocabulary. The piece was printed in a single color to highlight texture and shape.