About the Element
Lead is known for its weight, its malleability, and its toxicity. A soft, blue-grey metal, it has been used to make bullets, paint and glass, among other things. I chose lead because of its significance in the printing world. Gutenberg was the first to make type out of lead 600 years ago, and it has been linked to the printed word ever since. As a letterpress printer, I have a great love for lead type and the history that it represents.

About the Print
I decided to use an image of the type itself, which I created digitally and had made into photopolymer plates to print from. I printed 4 colors on my antique letterpress, and then added the elemental symbol for lead (Pb) and its number (82), which I typeset in antique lead. The font is Cooper Black, designed in 1921 by Oswald Bruce Cooper. It is a classic typeface, and I thought it would lend itself well to this piece.

About the Printmaker
I studied fine art printmaking in college and spent three years apprenticing at a letterpress shop before starting my own business, The history of printing is what first attracted me to the trade. I enjoy being able to draw upon my training through the use of antique equipment and lead type, in combination with original elements such as hand-carved linoleum cuts, or digitally created plates such as the ones I used for this print.

Printer & Piemaker

by Hannah Berman

Symbol: Pb
Atomic number: 82
Atomic weight: 207.2