BBC News – Northumberlandia: The naked lady of Cramlington

4 09 2012

More observant readers will recall that I used to work for a company selling software to mining companies. It was a not unpleasant few years of my career, though I always felt a little uneasy knowing that our software was (as I used to flippantly describe it) designed to help mining companies dig better holes.

In my younger days, straight out of Uni, I refused to work on the well paid projects for defence contractors. The ever present little boy in me (no comments thank-you MM, I was being metaphorical) loved the idea of writing software for guided missiles or fast jets, but at the end of the day they weren’t there just to make loud bangs and big explosions. They were designed to kill people.

Mines rape the landscape so we can feed our hunger for minerals. “Someone’s going to do it…”. Though legislation has made things a little better in recent decades, it’s still not uncommon for the spoil heaps to be raging eye-soars for many years. I was all the more pleased then to see this novel idea to use the vast quantities of rock and waste from an open cast coalmine in the NW of the UK. If you’re going to use 1,500,000 tonnes of rock to make a huge great pile… might as well make it an aesthetically pleasing one, no?!

BBC News – Northumberlandia: The naked lady of Cramlington.




6 responses

5 09 2012
misfits' miscellany

You reminded me that you also worked in typography. Do you know anything about creating the stencils used for text in screen-printing?

And how did you enjoy the Peter Silverton book?

5 09 2012
Quieter Elephant

Only in a generic way. What specifically do you mean?
i’m still reading Silverton. Funny stuff. Just read origin of super duper…

6 09 2012
misfits' miscellany

I can’t remember the origin of Super Duper. But I do like where the word “bum” comes from, the “bumpable” part; well, his best guess.

I want to screen-print MM’s magazine, learn something about printing in the interim. Screen-printing isn’t that hard to learn, but the book are mostly geared towards large images, with bold lines, those which require less detail and delicacy than text. I thought you might know how they create stencils for text. I’m just beginning to research, and might find it obvious when I pick up book…

6 09 2012
Quieter Elephant

Dupa is Polish for arse.
Well these days most screen/offset printing is done digitally. T-shirts are still done “the old fashioned way” (sometimes), but mostly a RIP is used to screen images these days. It creates the dot patterns to avoid unsightly interference between the different inks. Text though is usually 100% black. There are no stencils as such, just the regular letter imaged on emulsion on a printing plate. The ink sticks to the imaged emulsion, and water to the rest. A newspaper is printed with dots in the 1000-1200dpi range. Magazines and commercial printing maybe at 2400dpi. Bank notes might have dots 10 times smaller. Offset printing avoids the issue of the circle dropping out of the a, b, d, o etc…

6 09 2012
misfits' miscellany

Thanks, QE, but I want to go old school, silk screen, do it with the squeegee. It’ll cost less, a hell of a lot more work, but I don’t mind a bit of physical labour, it’s like therapy. And I like to learn crafts. I used to develop my own 35mm photos in the bathroom. In a subtropical city I could only do two or three before the heat made the chems volatile. I dig a bit of old style craftsmanship. I plan to make print the mag and then make T-shirts after hours, to fund this non-commercial venture that is MM.

There a few old beat poetry mags for which they did the silk screen printing, so it must be doable.

Anyway, Ta!

6 09 2012
Quieter Elephant

Good on ya! I totally get the craft/in touch thing. I used to do B&W photos too.

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