⬆ IT’S A SMALL WORLD is a 5” x 7”, collaborative book that has been produced annually since 1952. Lead Graffiti has produced pages off-&-on since 2012. The image above is our favorite page which is project #2 below.
Project #1 : Just our type of rain
The image above shows our first dive into the project. We had recently discovered that our Intertype C4 had a lever you could switch and it would cast multiple lines of hot-metal type. We always want to find a way to use type that isn’t just casting lines of prose and it didn’t take long to think that if we set a line using the word RAIN in using both upper and lowercase letters along with a few interspersed periods, we could have an interesting repeating lines of text. Repeat a few at the bottom to mimic splashing and we had a solution we didn’t mind spreading across the world.
It’s a Small World is a publication produced mainly by hobbyist printers, though it has some serious printers mixed in. We would like to think that we tended to be in the higher end of technical expertise, and that coupled with our creative interests, the publication would offer us a chance to do some high-end experimentation.
Project #2 : Graphic poetry. Period.
Ray has long been haunted by an image of a graphic poem, entitled “Il Pleut” (It Rains), by Guillaume Apollinaire (1880 – 1918), a French poet, playwright, short story writer, novelist, and art critic of Polish-Belarusian descent. The simplicity, use of typewriter as a production tool, and the clear avoidance of trying to not look handmade presses all of the right buttons.
This time with our Intertype we had just gone through boxes of miscellaneous parts, many of which totally escaped some sense of use, we also found a box of spacing material. On the keyboard of the Intertype that is only room for 3 different widths of spacing (thick, middle, thin). The box of spacing gaves us dozen different widths from very, very thin which gave us the opportunity to space characters fairly carefully. Not like the computer, but it offered some options at least.
Ray scanned “Il Pleut” and replaced each letter with a map of carefully positioned dots, to replicate the feel of the original poem.
The image above shows the 5 matrices for the periods on each line spread apart by various options of spacing. Each line was painstakenly accurate to the printout of the poem. Overall it took about 5.5 hours to complete the poem, carefully adding increments of 1/2 point (144th of an inch) until everything aligned. The image below shows the cast lines, each with 5 periods, and a variety of the spacing matrices we had to work with.
This project is probably Ray’s favorite using the Intertype.
Project #3 : Rain’s forecast again?
This project is our least favorite of the 3 as it really different dig anything new out of the process. It may be that we just don’t know anything really new about the Intertype. We’ll see what 2019 brings into play, though we may start down a different path with this year’s.
We’ve been trying to collect a full set of the now 65 issues and are down to 4 that we lack. The problem is that number 1 is one of them. We found a set of 1 - 10, but it as in the collection of a rather famous printer and when he died the copies went to Oak Knoll Books in New Castle, Delaware, but they wanted to much money and we really only need the one issue. Now we are trying to find someone that might give us a set of scans of the pages so we could at least fill the hole with a facsimile.
You can click here to read about the history of It’s a Small World by Alan Brignull.