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Summer dissertation roundup

Change of title
I have decided to change my area of research to a subject area and field of creative output that I am more interested in. I will be investigating letterpress printing and attempting to answer two questions: why do practitioners have such a passion for the printing medium; and why is there a recent reemergence of the form? My creative output will be via film making.

Practice filming
I planned to visit a pop-up print shop on 21 September, where I had arranged to take some practice shots to help me storyboard my documentary and interview practitioners and members of the public, however the shop moved location the previous week and was not set up again in time for me to do this.

This shoot had been arranged to help develop ideas for the letterpress film and strengthen my filming and interview skills.

Letterpress print
As last year, I have entered the 20:20 Print Exchange. For my entry I had planned to create a letterpress print so I could personally explore the technique further, get to meet the Leeds College of Art print room technicians, and get ideas for communicating the technique in my documentary. Unfortunately when I went to visit the print room at Vernon Street in early September it was closed. When estudio was accessible once again to students, I enrolled to the print studio pages and their timetable informed me it was closed all September for refurbishments. The Arthouse, Wakefield, which is the print studio I’m entering the 20:20 Print Exchange through does not have Letterpress facilities. The deadline for submitting my work to the exchange is 1 October so it will not be possible to do the work I planned. I will have to find another printing medium.

Forward planning
The Print Project, Shipley: they are keen to be involved in the film and I have preliminary meeting with them on Friday 3 October to see their workshop and discuss the project, especially how it could benefit both parties.

Porch Press, Tadcaster: one of my favourite home letterpressers, I have reached out to her via email requesting her involvement in the project and offering to meet up to discuss it further.

Derdlab, Skipton: a pop up printer in Craven Court Shopping Centre, I will spend Thursday 16 October with them. I have arranged to film the equipment, interview the main organiser of the print workshop, and set up to do box pops with visitors.

The Arthouse, Wakefield: spoke to the print coordinator, asking if they had any members or studio holders interested in letterpress. They do not have letterpress print facilities and no one came to mind, but the print coordinator is asking if any of her colleagues are aware of anyone.

Sarah Nicholson: been printing for only a year. Developed a real passion for letterpress from a point of no experience. She now sells work via Derdlab and staffs it at the weekend. Sarah is available in November.

Want to research for possible inclusion: Craven Herald as the last newspaper to be printed with letterpress in the UK; Leeds’ Print Festival; manufacturers of the printing equipment; family printers that have moved to digital and one that has not; Bradford Industrial Museum as they have a letterpress section and specialist volunteers; if any of the local universities have anything related in their special collections, or specialists in the field;

Looking at other artists
Vimeo videos about letterpress.
Visited the British Library, London, to see the work of American printer and designers Jill Cypher and Ray Nichols, which was on display as part of the Tour de France 2014 celebrations.
Films promoted by the Heritage Craft Association for their ability to communicate art forms and their importance.

Story boarding
Find a central workshop or character
Get extremes in points of view and practice
Find really nice shots of the printing process

Question ideas
First letterpress experience
More about print experience
Why letterpress
Why are you passionate about letterpress
Favourite letter and why
How do you feel when you smell ink
Favourite thing about the printing process
Favourite thing about the finished work
Why did it go out of popularity
Why is becoming popular again

IDEA: When Harry Met Sally style interviews of people just describing their experiences, but don’t reveal it’s print until the end.o

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