Friday, September 4, 2009

Beauty Make-Over for Heavy Metal

A silk purse...from a...sow's ear.

Mission complete, the smaller of two, hundred year old engraving proofing presses have just been fully restored and completely operable by my husband and partner, John Mack Collins. This baby (pictured above) weighs-in at about two hundred pounds and when you hit the ball watch your head and digits 'cause it wields about a force of two tons.

These presses were originally made for proofing half inch thick commercially engraved dies but they have been used for production work on embossed monograms and family seals. The big brother, about 50% again the weight, is almost completely restored as well. This one will reside at Loyola University New Orleans in the graphic design department with Professors Daniela Marx and Nancy Bernardo. A small but burgeoning cottage industry for print engraving is being nurtured here in New Orleans by Yvette Rutlidge, venerable typographer, sign letter and master engraver, at Mystic Blue Signs. Yve will be devoting a portion of her shop to the letter arts, and, engraving.

Follow the entire story, here:
(sample of the 1/2" thick steel dies)

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