And so onto my time at Yee-Haw Industries.
I first became aware of Yee-Haw Industries whilst working as a framer at the lovely little gallery, Castor and Pollux in Brighton. They had been stocking Yee-Haw’s work for a long time and I was intrigued by their work. Julie Belcher and Kevin Bradely are the brains behind the type, unfortunately during my time there Kevin was out of State and Julie was in and out getting ready for another art show where they had a stall. Yee-haw are an important touchstone in the now growing gig poster scene but they are part of the old guard and have been producing work since 1997, as such their studio is packed full of all their amazing prints (and a fair few CDs).
The large format print on the ceiling is of particular note. Although available in a variety of hand-set sizes, these huge “storety” pieces are designed and printed by Kevin on a modified etching press. With a print bed about the size of a single mattress this allows for some truly staggering prints.
The majority of Yee-haws work, and in fact I would guess most letterpress printers work, is done on aVandercook Press . Whilst these presses in a traditional print environment were once used simply for proofing work before sending it to a more high speed press, they have since found favour with the letterpress craft movement due to their robust build, relative ease of maintenance and the speed at which you can print and register something. I have fallen in love with these presses, with paper grippers to register your paper and a set of rollers that ink your type automatically (though you still replenish the ink every 10 or so prints) printing in a joy, a speedy joy at that. Let me put it this way – on one day this week in a period of about 3 hours I printed a batch of Yee-Haw prints, roughly 600 of them. In 3 hours on the Albion Press I used to print my last edition on in 3 hours I would maybe get 30 good prints due to hand inking and hand puling each print. The Vandercook is still hand-printing, it’s just incredibly fast.
So alongside helping Yee-Haw keep ahead of orders for their lovely prints (check out their etsy shop ) I have also been able to work on a new print for myself. I have been trying to put into action all the things I have learnt over the past month and I’m really pleased with it, I’ll be putting the second colour on it today. I have also been making a short making of video so you can see a Vandercook in action but that will have to wait until Monday.