Nothing like a weekend of technical failure to reinvigorate the spirit. This weekend was reserved to begin printing the “pixel grids” on the pages of The Heads (of my family, my friends, my colleagues), the forthcoming book of poems by Mr. Justin Sirois.

Those grids are being printed from lead matrices constructed from spacing material—“high spaces”—in this case 12 pt. En quads. This first set-up was supposed to be the “matrix-matrix,” the modular set-up that would yield all the others.

I eagerly set it up on Saturday, anxious to see if it would actually work, knowing that I would probably have to adjust it, but hoping beyond hope that I wouldn’t. It printed:

But as I had guessed, there won’t be enough white space between the individual “pixels” in a column. In the above image you can kind of see them, but once they are printed with more impression & ink, those tiny cracks will fill up. So I thought, Okay, no big deal, I’ll just add some paper spaces between all of the lead pieces.
& besides I had forgot to reverse the matrix for printing, so it was all going to have to come out anyway.

Little did I realize that all of my schemes for producing roughly 3,500 6 pt. paper spaces would also fail. After messing around with the guillotine for a bit, I decided that I could set up the lines in InDesign, print ‘em out & cut them by hand. But that didn’t work either:

So it looks like I’ll be ordering a bunch of 6 pt. coppers.

Luckily, there are other pieces of the book that I can work on while I’m waiting on those. So I don’t have to waste any more time.

& speaking of wasting time—one thing we like to say around here is that “learning is making mistakes.” I sure am doing a lot of learning on this one….

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