Monday, July 30, 2012

Salt notes

By GARY ABERNATHY

When I first started out in the newspaper business, we were, thankfully, long past the days of the Linotype method of preparing stories for print – a long and laborious process that took hours to accomplish.

Still, when I began nearly 30 years ago, much of the actual of work of putting each edition together continued to involve physically doing so by hand, from trimming the stories and headlines with scissors to paste them onto the large grid sheets, to developing photographs in the darkroom, to fitting it all together like a big puzzle, piece by piece.

Today, of course, the building of a newspaper is all accomplished by computer, from writing the stories to transferring the digital photographs to paginating the pages via a variety of software programs specifically designed for the task.

Today’s processes are faster and allow for more creativity, as well as better graphics and designs, but they do not lend the same sense of gratification that came with accomplishing the same task by the old-fashioned “hands on” methods.

In this edition of Salt, we share with our readers a variety of crafts, skills and techniques that continue to be achieved through the time-honored traditions of artists and experts working with their hands. As our modern society witnesses amazing advances in technology and mechanization, the phrase “hand-made” continues to carry with it a connotation of excellence, and an understanding that each product or creation is unique and rare because it was lovingly made by hand.

Enjoy!

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