Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Oops, my bad

I've been working very hard lately. Everything seems to have come up at once: design deadlines, printing commitments, and of course, to top it all off, the annual rush to get things together for the art school's Open Day. This last bit is totally voluntary, but always fun, because it gives me a chance to play.

I've been printing serviettes for the print workshop's traditional sausage sizzle. You know: $2 for a sausage in bread, $5 with an original printed napkin (cut with pinking shears from good serviceable white cotton drill).

fynger gunne

All going well, lots of different designs, then I get the bright idea of printing on t-shirts. Downstairs the first years are screenprinting a whole stack of them, so a colleague and I set a couple of designs and print some t-shirts and singlets, successfully. Hooray! Then I'm passed a pair of undies, and I think, why not?

Well, I found out why not. Here is the word MESSY, before. It's a nice little bit of concrete poetry, taking advantage of the nicks and dents in the old type:

MESSY before

and here it is, after:

MESSY after

Ahem. Cotton undies are flat in the middle, sure. But the elastic is rather raised, and the pressure of the press rolling over the wood type caused the poor letters to compress, leaving a beautiful clear elastic print on the wood:

MESSY wood

OOPS. My bad. All I can think is that it looks like someone with a lovely curvy size 12 arse who weighs a ton sat on the type. And it will never recover.

The result? A pair of printed undies. The only such pair in the world. And not even that well printed, although I guess it was the right word to mess up.

MESSY undies

I hope whoever buys the undies will appreciate their provenance. But I doubt it.

Mind you, the marks will only show this clearly if you put the word MESSY together. At other times, the grooves will become part of the general history of marks on the letters, albeit a bit obvious. Sigh. Even if I could fit into the undies (which I couldn't, not since I was about 13) I don't think I could bear to own them. It's going to be bad enough looking at the letters periodically.

Anyhoo, get thee down to the Art School on Saturday between 9 and 4, if you're in the general vicinity (Canberra). Open Day is a hoot. And again, I'll be there, playing with my press. Come up and say hello.


dogpossum said...

they're great prints.
it's my job to organise the tshirts again for MLX and I'm a bit over it already. Last year I organised a local artist to do them (who did a pretty ordinary job), and this year we're toying with cafepress because it's simple.
But I'd like nice ones... We have the best logo/concept...

want a job?

worldpeace and a speedboat said...

oh sh!t!!


that is worse than cutting the blankets, for which there is nought but a painful death if you are caught!

worldpeace and a speedboat said...

ps - I want a serviette. they rock. fantabulous idea!

Ampersand Duck said...

The problem, Dogpossum, is that printing them on the letterpress machine is very labour-intensive (and not guaranteed to be aligned the right way each time!) and I'm not much of a screen-printer, so I'll have to regretfully decline. I only did about ten t-shirts and it was a bit stressful! But it proved to the students that I'm a wizz on the press ;)

I'm toying with the idea of cafepress too, but haven't actually got around to trying it. Sounds too good to be true, so let me know if you use them successfully.

Ampersand Duck said...

The mitigating factor, Speedy, is that I'm the only person who actually cares about the woodtype (and the metal type). To everyone else, having this stuff around is a complete waste of space and if I left, they'd sell it off within weeks. Sigh.

I can do a few extras if anyone's interested. The Fynger Gunne one is still set up. Email me and we can talk!

Val said...

I would be proud to wear such undies! And would visit on the weekend if I lived closer.

I'm just about to post photos of my very first star tunnel book, by the way.

Ampersand Duck said...

It's a ripper, Val. Everyone go and look!

Jennifer said...

that't the funniest post i've seen in a long time! thanks! (p.s. your bunny is almost dressed)

Bronwen said...

ITs hard when there is a stuff up. I hope you able to utilise it or work something out.

Bernice Balconey said...

Serendipitious - over at Sarsparilla, there's a piece re celebrations when Victoria gained its colony status - a printing press was loaded on a a cart and paraded through the streets of Melbourne - press as deity. So get thee a cart &duck, a gaggle of first years dressed in MESSY undies & a Fynger Gunne bandanna & have them drag you round the art school, Boedica like upon your chariot with a two tonne press & a very big whip. Add the Lendon dressed in sack clothes, scattering rose petals in your path & it doesn't get any better.

Bernice Balconey said...

Oooh - you already popped over to Sarsparilla - spoooooky. Or we both need to get out more.

Ampersand Duck said...

I had to giggle at that, BB because I wrote that post! I think I'm the only person who could be interested in a topic like that... but I'll see who responds! I like your response already :)

Bernice Balconey said...

Oooh - Bernice needs to read the author tagline in the future. & I've revised my task for the Lendon - he should now be dressed in a lion cloth, carrying,dragging that totem from outside Sculpture. While on roller skates.

worldpeace and a speedboat said...

oh Duck, how can anyone not care about that beautiful wood type? it's just delicious.

I'd work those knickers into a book! wouldn't they make a dandy cover? a bit lumpy, maybe, but tres amuse :)

Ampersand Duck said...

Heh. No, Speedy, I shall send them out into the universe and I hope they look good on someone's bum. Of course, if they don't sell, I will certainly do something with them!

Kate said...

I'd be keen for a fingergunne serviette too! I am going to email you RIGHT NOW.

Patricia said...

Love the undies!

ellis hutch said...

One very proud lady sculptor showed me her nice MESSY undies today before I read this post - they've gone to a good home!

Ampersand Duck said...

Oh, HOORAY! I'm glad they will be loved. Lucky her for having the right sized bum. Thanks EH! I was too busy running around fixing problems to look at the clothing stall.