Friday, 7 May 2010
Dispatches from Adanaland
I love retro craftsmanship, and just received an excellent package of it from the artist Alan Brignull of the Hedgehog Press, Colchester. Alan uses an Adana Letterpress machine to produce, among other artworks, an exquisitely-printed postcard-format series (I'm not quite sure what exactly you'd call it - keepsake, ephemera, miniature magazine?) called The Rambling Urchin. The image (right) shows four in the series: click the image to enlarge.
We got in discussion following a bit of Language Log whimsy, Eyjafjallajökull FTW, where posters were swapping ideas about what kind of sea-shanty might be inspired by the eruption of that Icelandic volcano. Alan asked if he could devote the current issue to my effort. Along the lines of English sailors' ship nicknames, such as the Bellerophon becoming the Billy Ruffian, I thought the oral tradition would blunt the name Eyjafjallajökull to Fat Yokel. The result - Rambling Urchin 44 - is very nice, and gives more posterity than deserved to a completely throwaway bit of verse: thanks, Alan.
"Adanaland" has no online presence, but via others equally impressed, a certain amount of Alan's other work is documented online: for instance, "Artistamps" - a genre I'd never heard of - including World Cup Winners, and some examples of Women of Adanaland in this post, Wayzgoose, at the blog Middle of Nowhere. Alan's Flickr Photostream is also worth a look for its pleasant selection of photographs, ephemera, fonts, type, and so on.
(The process of Googling for this topic in itself led in directions of typographical, printing and art blogs where I could browse for hours. See, for example, Typoretum and Woodtyper).