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Mr. Manicule

Posted by Dulcie Fulton on

What began as an idea that amused me — making a man of many hands, a manicule being a term to describe a pointing fist* — turned into one of the most complicated and confounding pieces of typesetting and printing I've yet attempted. The combination of wood and metal type proved exceedingly difficult to print since the wood is slightly higher than the metal. Once the forme (the completed design, locked up into a metal frame called a chase) was ready to print, it took 6 hours to achieve satisfactory results. Eventually, I built all the wood type up to exactly the same height with layers of tape and paper of various thicknesses, then made a cut-out template to even out the pressure.

This edition was printed on my Saroglia treadle platen press as part of a collaborative book project for the Shropshire Branch of the British Printing Society (BPS) and was my response to the proffered theme of "Some odd characters". It has also been submitted to the BPS Publishing Group, a subset of members who contribute ephemera to a bundle each member receives with great delight every two months.

A new edition will be printed soon, on a larger sheet size more suitable for framing. Please get in touch if you'd like to express an interest in buying a print, or join my email list to be first to know when it hits the shop.

Letterpress print, copper ink.
Wood and metal type and ornaments.
Printed on A5 landscape 100gsm Conqueror Laid.

* Technically, the pointing hands used on Mr. Manicule are called printers' fists. A manicule is actually a hand-drawn pointing fist of the type that you'll see in old manuscripts. But Mr. Printers' Fist didn't have quite the same ring to it, so please forgive me the transgression and allow the alliteration.

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