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.
Matrix 33 will contain some 160 pages, including 8 pages of colour plates; type specimens printed in France, Italy, America and the UK; and many other linocut, and line and colour illustrations. The contents will include:
‘A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall’: Protest Images from the Nineteen Sixties by Dennis Gould; Herbert Jefferies, or The Bronze Buckaroo by Barbara Henry; Bradley Hutchinson – a Letterpress Fusion by Catherine Docter; Flaps & Hinges by Andrew Anderson; Hornby and the Daniels, their Correspondence by William S. Peterson; Reynolds Stone by Humphrey Stone; Lac Des Pleurs by Gaylord Schanilec; It’s Not Nostalgia, the Skill and Vision of Lowell Bodger by Paul Shaw; An Eighteenth-Century Factory for Bibles by Martyn Ould; The Rampant Lions Press at the Fitzwilliam Museum, 1982 by Sebastian Carter; Reprinting Printing Types: a Wander through the Design of Stephenson Blake’s Type Specimens by David Marshall and Elizabeth Ellis; Wood Type Revival by Tom Mayo; Tribulations of a Publishing Bookseller by George Ramsden; Matrix and Minnesota by John Randle; Donatus Pro Puerulis, the Lost Subiaco Edition and a Replica Imagined by Richard Årlin; Watermarks, and the Flow of Time by Enrico Tallone; From the Guild of St Joseph to Ditchling Museum by Jenny KilBride; Émigrés by Anna Nyburg; First Folio by Louisa Hare; La Fin du Monde by Celine Biewesch; Bristol to Mainz, with Bicycle and Adana by Nick Hand; A Bookseller’s Diary by Sophie Schneideman; Book Reviews by Paul W. Nash, John Randle and Patrick Randle.
Michael Harvey was the finest lettering artist of his generation, following in the tradition of Berthold Wolpe at Fabers. I first met him in 1972 when I worked for Heinemann, for whom he did some work. We discussed the idea of him doing an alphabet for the embryonic Whittington Press, but sadly nothing came of it. In Matrix 26 he described his apprenticeship with Reynolds Stone, and in Matrix 27 his earlier time stonecutting with Joseph Cribb, who had worked with Eric Gill at Ditchling before the war. John Randle