Roy Scholten is wrapping up a years-long printing project with dozens of playfully rendered fowl. 50 Birds is an ongoing series that uses LEGO in place of lead type to create curved beaks, long tails, and rounded bellies. With only three species—hawfinch, reed bunting, and kingfisher—remaining, The Netherlands-based artist and designer has nearly a full flock of the letterpress creatures, all nested inside 6 x 6-inch paper.
“It’s been interesting to see how the experience from earlier prints feeds back into the following ones,” he tells Colossal. “In a way, because I got better at it, the more difficult it has become. More subtle color schemes and patterns resulted in a more painterly approach to printing.”
Scholten began working with the unconventional material about a decade ago in collaboration with artist Martijn van der Blom, and the pair recently released a bi-lingual book, Print & Play, the Art of LEGO Letterpress, documenting their process and projects during the last ten years. Their practice of inking and printing with the plastic blocks is known in printmaking circles as the “Hilversum method,” named for their studios’ location in the city of Hilversum. Included in the book’s pages are some early works from the 50 Birds collection, along with van der Blom’s architectural typography, stylized dinosaurs, landscapes, and more.
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