Set in Stone
Deep in the heart of the M-shed stores in Bristol, over 70 lithographic stones have been stored, gathering layers of dust. These stones, discovered in the blitzed basement of the Mardons printing house, were once used to mass-produce labels of W.D and H.O Wills tobacco, whose products included Golden Virginia and Players Navy Cut.
‘Set in Stone’ is a collaborative project run by Charlotte Biszewski, who has worked with Stephanie Turnbull to transfer the images on the stones onto lithographic plates in order for them to be a starting point for various Bristol artists to create new work. It will culminate in an exhibition, appropriately, at the Tobacco Factory in August - more details to follow soon.
As soon as I heard about this project I was really keen to be involved. Following on from my MA studies, I’m really interested in the idea of taking printed ephemera from the past and preserving it through re-invention. When I picked up my litho plate back in May, I was thinking that this would be a good opportunity to create something non-book for a change, but as I mulled over the potential of the imagery I started thinking of traditional embossed bookcloth, patterned endpapers and creating something that could be contained within a tobacco tin. So that will be a book then.
Pictured here are some photos from the production process, which involved creating photo-polymer stamps, heat transfer foil blocking, embossed book cloth and Hedi Kyle’s flag book structure using Rizla papers. Truly tobacco-tastic!