Sunday, July 22, 2012

Upside Down, Left To Right: A Letterpress Film

This is a short film about letterpress and one of the few remaining movable-type printing workshops in the UK, situated at Plymouth University, featuring Paul Collier. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Object Acquisition # 77-201.1.10 Cupping Set

Documenting objects from The Hunt Show:

Object Acquisition # 77-201.1.10 Cupping Set
Object Interpreted and Statement by: Liv Rainey Smith

“My” object at the OHSU research archives, is a set of cups and two bloodletting scarificators manufactured by G.C. Ahlbeck, “Chirurgisk Instrumentmakare,” in 1870. Although I had seen similar glass cupping sets before (they are popular in massage), the brass scarificators were entirely new to me. 
Upon examining them, I could identify signs of their hand construction such as saw blade marks and solder lines. After some careful handling I was able to raise and lower the blade depth, cock the blades with the lever, and trigger the spring loaded action with the button. The blades passed in and out of the device so rapidly my eyes almost didn't register the movement. Although my stomach churned at the thought of being cut by those twelve rounded blades, fascination soon set in and I realized a relationship exists between this once high-tech tool and modern bloodletting tools. 
Diabetics today utilize adjustable, spring loaded lancets to draw blood on a daily basis. The purpose is different, but the mechanics are similar. Even if you've never used a testing lancet, you've likely been exposed to advertisements touting the ease and comfort of the latest model. With this connection in mind, I created my vision of a 19th century advertisement for G.C. Ahlbeck's finely crafted product.

Detail of G.C.Ahlbeck's Scarificator advert

Detail of G.C.Ahlbeck's Scarificator advert

Curator's Note: 
This piece was created by carving one wood block. She started with one color and worked her way to black. Excellent Work! Be sure to check out Liv's webpage for other goodies.