This month we offer another big, bold and bodacious antique revival in 42 point for your printing pleasure. The face may be familiar—it was cast and sold as “Bailey Shaded” by Charlie Broad in the 1960s. Where and when that name was given to it is unknown, but it originated about 1854 with the Caslon Foundry in England, as their Ornamented No. 1513. It proved up very nicely for us as is usually the case with type from pantographically-milled brass matrices. You gotta have this one.
Also new: Border No. U-27 in 36 point. A rather curious single-element border of unknown origin.
Restocks accomplished in October are Moorish + Moorish Open, Border No. U-17, and Border No. F-1631. Sixteen new listings of used type and other printing hardware were added to The Junk Bin.
Since last June’s visit to Skyline by Terrie Reddish, one of our two favorite New Zealand lady printers (yes Christina, you’re the other!), we have been engaged in an ongoing email discussion about the best/proper ways to do things. The subject of Nicks Up or Nicks Down? arose. One thing led to another and I ended up writing a presentation on the subject, and publishing it on a new page on our web site called Best Practices (found in the About Skyline menu). You’re invited to check this out, especially if you’re new to letterpress printing. And I already have notes for the next few such essays, so there’s more to come!
Dunnage. Do you know that word? I learned it from my eccentric old typographical pal J.F. Killie, who rescued the four Thompson Type Casters that I in turn rescued in 2004 when he shuffled off this mortal coil (and whence started the clock for Skyline Type Foundry). It denotes any materials used to pad or insulate merchandise in shipment. You know it as bubble wrap, packing peanuts and such. Well, here at STF we do a pretty fair amount of packing and shipping, and go through a lot of dunnage. In the past we have purchased a synthetic construction material called “rigid insulation board”, or RIB. It serves very well but is darned expensive. Lately we’ve been looking to less costly and more environmentally responsible sources, and re-purposing all kinds of stuff—including, most recently, a quantity of offcut and reject foam-rubber bra cups that arrived here as dunnage in a shipment from China. We’re also making good use of honeycomb-plastic political signs, furnished to us (after elections) by a local political volunteer. So be ready for anything when you unpack that next bomb-proof shipment of Skyline type!