Not just paper

If this project is to evoke the feeing of opening a drawer into which someone has plonked the everyday stuff of their life, the sense of this book being written across everyday ephemera, I know I need a few bits and pieces that are not just bits of paper. I need some sections which provide different sizes and textures and so on. That’s an interesting challenge in a project using a little table-top letterpress.

One example of not-paper I’ve used is a pencil: in this, I printed a paragraph, one line at a time, on each of the six sides of a pencil. Bearing in mind (as I learned in the course of this process) that pencils are differently hard on different sides, according to the grain, the real challenge in this one was judging how hard to press. I built a little cradle out of beermats to hold the pencils consistently on the press. Here’s how it turned out:

106: Pencil

Another section which isn’t just a piece of paper was a matchbook. I thought about buying a load of matchbooks and just printing on the inside, but I couldn’t find enough which felt in keeping with the look of the project so I decided to make my own.

First off, I took an old matchbook to pieces and measured it carefully. Then with a combination of ruler, scalpel and guillotine I cut strips strips of card of the appropriate size. Then (after much proofing and experimentation) I printed an matchbooky image onto one side (and the fragment of the book on the other).
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“A Sala De Ressaca”, by the way, is Portuguese for “The Hangover Lounge“.

I used an old bone folder to score the bits of card in the appropriate places.
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I then took a pile of old matchbooks and used a combination of scalpel and staple removers to fillet out the matches, folding my new covers around the old matches and stapling the whole lot together.
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It’s a matchbook without a striking strips, of course, which feels somehow appropriate.