Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Workshop Fun

Last week, I organised for a small group from The Partners to spend the evening in the print workshop at the St Bride Foundation. There were about twenty of us in all and after an introduction and briefing by Michael Clayton the group were encouraged to have a go at setting type, inking up and printing.

For those not familiar with the St Bride Foundation, it was established in 1891 to fulfil social needs in the Fleet Street printing area. Facilities included a library, baths and a swimming pool (as hygiene was poor) and a printing school which was the forerunner of the LCP. Nowadays, this historic building houses a world renowned printing library with a large letterpress collection, a community theatre space, a bar, print workshop, meeting and conference rooms. It is still located in the original building, just off Fleet Street.
As well as printing, Andrew Long demonstrated lino-cutting and most people had a go. As the name suggests, this technique is actually engraving into a piece of floor linoleum, which is then inked and used to print from. The results can be amazing! can see the concentration at the lino cutting bench below:
Andrew, selected one of Stanley Donwood’s London Flood prints. The engraving which was divided into 15 pieces which were then individually cut by different people over the course of the evening. I even had a go and this was my section (as you can see, I initialled it with a cheeky J!)
At the end of the evening the pieces were assembled and below, you can see Marc Spicer printing the result: 
...and here he is holding up the finished result:
Below is the comparison with the original on the right hand side
You might have spotted there is a head floating in the river which looks like me! Thanks to Nick Eagleton's lino cutting skills, he used his piece of lino to produce a likeness of me, which he also used to print me a card below
You can read a far more erudite version of the evening on The Partners blog written by Marc:

It was a really fun evening, where everyone got a chance to have a go and join in. We had some food and a few drinks laid on at St Bride's and a few of us even made it to The Old Bell on Fleet Street afterwards!
My thanks to all the staff and friends at the St Bride Foundation with special thanks to Mick Clayton, Andrew Long and Bob Richardson who made the evening really good fun.

I just wanted to note that Peter Smith who is resident wood engraver at St Bride was unable to join us as he is recovering after an operation but I want to wish him well and a speedy recovery.

Posted by Justin Hobson 16.08.2017

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