Letterpress & coffee-staining

I am in love with an album cover.

Gillian Welch’s newest album, the Harrow & the Harvest, has a beautiful line-drawn portrait for the cover art that stands out on it’s own, but that wasn’t enough for these artists! They went to the trouble to have the cd covers printed on an old letterpress using a thick 100% cotton paper to accentuate the embossed effect of the printing.

You can see the printing press and Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings discussing the process here:

They discuss in the video that they originally wanted a warmer-toned white paper stock, but that it wasn’t possible due to the volume of the run. So instead, they are encouraging people to get a little crafty and stain their own copy of the album cover with coffee!

Of course coffee staining or toning is a technique often used on cyanotype prints – so I was particularly pleased to see this. I think they need to have a cyanotype print for their next album…

The album itself sounds equally wonderful. I can’t wait to pick up a copy and stain it myself!

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