Poor old block, it looked so delicate and pretty - this must be the oldest one I have, I think it must be verging on the antique, judging by the script and patina - more like old, hard leather than metal. But although it awoke - a little - for me, this old workhorse is going to be pastured out. In other words, it will have to go on the shelf and be decorative.
The main problem is that the fine lettering has been worn and softened through years of use. There is ancient caked ink between the letters which is impossible to get out without damage and in areas the words have sunk marginally too low to give a decent impression. I tried it on both the proof press and the Adana, but the poor thing was having none of it. At first I thought I could get away with an 'aged' finish, but Andy gave my efforts short thrift and after a bit of a sulk I took his point. Not only does it not look great, but I am going to have to invest in some proper (and horribly expensive) printing inks.
At the moment I am mixing oil paints with a medium which gives it a certain tackiness, (as printing ink should be). But it isn't working perfectly and it's being forced out to the edges of the indentations on fine lines like this...
Meanwhile, I'll trim these up and see if I can flog them on Etsy as supplies for collage. I'd like to think the old block had had one last hurrah.
(for letterpress enthusiasts there are more photos on Flickr...go on, you know you want to...)