May 2015 archive

Letterpress at the St Bride Foundation in London

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One thing I wanted to do after going part time at work was to do the occasional day-course.  I think it’s important to try new things, learn new skills and get out of the house!  A few weeks ago I spent a day at the St Bride Foundation in their print workshop where I had an introduction to letterpress.  St Brides is tucked away in the back streets south of Fleet Street, not far from Blackfriars station and is housed in a beautiful victorian building.

I had booked on a one-day Adana course, just wanting to learn something new and have a go, thinking that the Adana route may be the ideal intro.  It turns out I was the only one booked in so I had a one-on-one session with Mick.  Mick is a real character, formerly a compositor on the Fleet St newspapers, he was a brilliant teacher, amused at my colourful language and patient with my inability to calculate ems.  After getting to grips with the Adana, he generously let me loose on the other presses, and let me have a go with woodblock type, the result you can see above.

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At the end of the day he took me on a tour of the building where I got to see the archive, the library, the beautiful function rooms and some of the treausres the foundation holds such as a William Morris Kelmscott Chaucer which is unbelievably beautiful.  I can’t really express how wonderful my day was and how spoilt I felt.  I honestly can’t recommend a class at St Bride enough – and it’s not just for designers!

If you’re interested in Letterpress they are having a wayzgoose (love that word!) on Sunday 17th May, where you can buy letterpress kit and printed items.