I decided to try to set type for one of my poems today. I’d managed five or six lines with some success, but this is a three stanza, 11 line poem–a challenge. The first stanza went well, and I slipped the 14 pt Caslon off the composing stick and onto the press. I locked it up with some furniture and magnets temporarily and turned back to the type cabinet to work on the next stanza. Five lines later and I was ready to slide it off.
I hadn’t realized the composing stick wouldn’t fit in the chase, so I had to try to pick up the type with my fingers, holding spacers to keep the lines of type together as I slid it off. Well, you know what happened.
Elizabeth heard me groan as the first two lines of the second stanza fell onto the bed of the press. Tiny metal letters everywhere. I had to start again (and with my eyesight, that’s not easy).
Next time, I’ll go from composing stick to press bed. Then I’ll put the chase around the type and lock it up. Duh.
And–this weekend, I’m headed back to the Visual Arts Studio for a refresher class. Onward.