mica's blog

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Had it all the time

So this shear has been in our shop as long as I can remember, which is at least 35 years:

It's my turn to clean up around it, and I'm just getting crouched down to sweep underneath, and the nameplate stares me in the face:

Wow! it's beautiful, right down to the red paint behind the brand name. I probably haven't looked at it since I was 3 or 4 years old, when it was at my eye level. Now I'm off to document the machine plates off the other old equipment we have around, though I'm certain this one is the oldest.

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My Unix fortune today

"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away."

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Engraved guitar inlay

This inlay is a take on Woody Guthrie's "This Machine Kills Fascists." Here is the mother of pearl before we set it in the guitar:

More pictures and a story about the construction can be found on my website. We used Storm's Solpera as the basis. Even though the single line engraving didn't exactly mimic his design, I quite think the character of the font was preserved.

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More type on guitars

Here's another nameplate inlay with letters carved through a slab of mother of pearl:

I also got some advice from Typophilers about the Hindi inlay on this guitar:

More pictures and details can be found on my website.

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Sutton Place Hotel

I received a letter from a friend today who was staying at the Sutton Place Hotel in Chicago:

It's a semi-swanky hotel from what I understand (never stayed there). The paper is a pretty nice laid finish cotton, but the typsetting wasn't impressive to me. Reminds me of when I played with Formatt rub-on letters as a child.

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Stick type

Forgot about this one from Lake Vermilion, MN:

I especially like the M and the second R in GROCERIES.

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Alphbets Old & New

Latest find at my favorite used book store.

I hope to get some time to enjoy this book soon.

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Found type in MN

I was visiting relatives with my mother in law last week in northern Minnesota. She showed me around the town where she grew up. Here's the entrance sign of her elementary school in Virginia, MN which was constructed in 1922:

On the was back to Lake Vermilion, we passed through the town of Tower (pop 500). The town was established in 1889 shortly after the Soudan iron mine was established as the first iron mine in the state of Minnesota.

We pulled over to visit a friend, and I took this photograph:

As I was taking the picture, a lady walking by told me she loved this old building with its old faded letters, and that a great many of the buildings in Tower used to be painted with advertisements like this.

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I just don't want to forget where this interesting collection of bookplates is located. Lots of examples of ligatures.

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SmallCap email

Almost everyday I have to sift through "SmallCap" emails. I think they are about fonts, but they are of course about small cap stocks. Darn those dastardly spammers! They can't trick me with their tricky font masquerades.

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Blackletter ala Spraypaint

When I arrive and leave work, I'm greeted with this new addition across the train tracks from our building:

I've seen other examples of the Forty Blunts Kore tagged around town, but this one is the most carefully done.

About once a month, the property owners prepare a clean slate, so I needed to snap this picture before the canvas is empty.

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Dense text!

From my 1911 Encylopædia Britannica:

Here, the double space after a period is a helpful marker to a reader of the tightly leaded text (look at the attachment to see the whole page). Modern book designers would never use 2 spaces after a period, but in a set of books that even densely set expands to 30 volumes, I can see why they would want to economize.

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More type on guitars

Been doing some housecleaning on my vast collection of images (just rolled over the 10,000 mark on my Sony camera), and found these type themed pieces. Now to have fun celebrating the inline image display!

Not everyone wants an "O" on their peghead, but this particular Mr. O did. James did this inlay in mother of pearl.

Mother of pearl "D" on the workbench before inlaying. This one was drawn by Susan and cut by Mike.

This is a regular request, a cut out slab of mother of pearl (done with a hair-line saw blade and small drills), refilled with a mixture of ebony dust and epoxy. Susan draws the letters, and James did these inlays.

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James' hand cut type

Today, James completed this totally amazing nameplate for a custom bass guitar. The mother of pearl shell is .060" thick and he used a jeweller's saw to cut the letters completely through the shell. Then the sawn out sections are filled with a mixture of epoxy and ebony dust.

The plate is to be installed on a fingerboard with a twelve inch radius, so the form will distort a little after shaping. On the next one, I'll correct the artwork to allow for this final step.

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