This year our annual open day will take place on Saturday 3rd September, beginning at 1pm. Added to our usual array of UK based letterpress printers are Russell Maret and Gaylord Schanilec from the USA, Peter Allen from France and Annette Disslin from Germany.
The Press will have three of its presses working, as well as an informal exhibition of its work, including copies of Venice, its latest title, and pages from Matrix 34 which is going on press this week. Neil Winter will be demonstrating the Monotype Casters and there will be displays of marbling, goatskin from Nigeria, hand-made and mould-made papers and hand-printed wallpaper.
As well as books and ephemera there will be an array of printers equipment and type for sale and the open day coincides with the village fete so if you fancy your chances at skittles or own a talented dog you could be going home with a few prizes . . .
Matrix 34 hits the press next week and will encompass a wide variety of topics, united by its primary interest in printing by letterpress, from metal type. This preoccupation can take many forms, and includes this year:
Printing at a small west-country newspaper using a Monotype caster and a Wharfedale cylinder press; the extraordinary archive of the Officina Bodoni; an insider account of the Westerham Press, the most technically innovative, and amongst the most typographically aware, printers of its time; setting poetry on a Ludlow caster; the inter-reaction of pottery and letter-cutting; selling and installing Wharfedale presses in the 60s and 70s; learning to cut a punch from one of its few remaining practitioners; an untypically warm correspondence with Edward Bawden; a little-known Polish private press in pre-war Florence, using Nicolas Cochin types; working for Gordon Russell; Matisse and the books he created in Paris with Tériade; Stinehour Press and Meriden Gravure; and much else besides, all cast from the moulds of Monotype casters in Caslon, Poliphilus, Goudy Modern, Scotch Roman, Bell and Cochin types, and printed with the crisp impression of an SBB Heidelberg cylinder press: a rare combination of technical and literary excellence – possibly even unique in our careless, digital age.