Look what I found growing in the garden. Scrabbling about in a pile of old pots while potting on tomato plants, a real printer's pie of miscellaneous type I picked up over a decade ago. Left in the garden five years ago when we moved here and promptly forgotten. Poor old bits, they were covered in rust (so not lead, but steel?)
I felt as guilty as if I'd left a kitten in the rain, especially as I had bought some bits and bobs of type from eBay when I was feeling a bit flush. I seem to have an almost complete lovely font, the one near the bottom of the picture. Only one of each, so limited printing use. I don't know what font it is, any type geeks out there? (edit - thanks Sue, it was indeed Windsor Antique D Bold - Font Head of the month award to you!) (further edit - No it wasn't! There has been some last minute contention and further investigation is needed...)
Sue W, (who wonderfully has dusted off her wood engraving equipment and started printing again too) found a page about removing rust with tea. Well the least I could do was give them a cuppa after five years weathering it in the garden, so they went into a bowl of Co-op's finest and steeped for three days. It actually almost worked, and every time I changed it more debris floated off - amazing. But they needed some more in depth cleaning, so I've been going at them with wire wool, old toothbrush, white spirit and an awl, to prise out the crud.
A gorgeous decorative font, perfect for borders. S'cuse the grubby nails, I am a bit unpresentable in the hand department with one thing and another.
This little lot took about two hours to scrub up. I can't get the last rust stains off, if anyone knows a UK product which does this effectively, I'd be glad to know.
Finally got my mojo back with the printing after the trials and errors of the other day. This lot worked really well, using a normal card stock - the linen effect of the pink sets was very pretty but not well suited to taking ink. My little lino block is getting quite flattened and cracked in places, I might get away with another batch, before it goes completely wonky. I've decided to turn them into little cards, for Etsy, (resurrected project number three hundred and seventy three). I'm starting to get the hang of bouncing from one thing to another, something I couldn't have done a few years ago. And it's such fun - which is how it should be.