Workshop Diary

These two images show some of the thoughts, words and creations recorded by the workshop volunteers today:




Photo Log – Day Two

Sandra began a mammoth type-setting task (for which she deserves a medal for sheer tenacity alone!):

John & Gillian battled some spacing & indentation intrigues (ably assisted by Ray, who is out of shot here), whilst Ellie was wonderfully arty with some type:

Alison printed a line on the Adana eight-five press:

As well as this, which I love for its artistry and humour:

We test printed a bit of the poem, even though we knew the spacing and indentation needed fixing (thanks to a helpful comment on this blog! We’re super grateful):

And lastly, Peter worked miraculously fast to replace the wrong-sized spacers and also the add some spacing between lines, as well as the correct indentation. Brilliant stuff:

Workshop Log – Day One

As the rain hammered down outside, and with much of the weald masked in a damp, autumnal cloak, our brave volunteers gathered in the Old Dairy Barn at Sissinghurst Castle to make a start on the project.

First, we looked at each of the printing presses on site, and talked through the processes connected with them. We discussed furniture and quoins and packing and make-ready – before inking up the presses and having a go. The two Adana presses – a five-three and an eight-five, coped admirably; the Minerva platen was a little more tricksy!

It took quite a bit of wrangling to get the chase for the Minerva to clip into the press – we worked out the furniture etc needed to be entirely flat in order for this to happen correctly. There were some scary moments – but in the end the chase did clip in and we printed our first word, which was something like ‘NEWLBQC’.

After lunch, the group broke down into smaller pairs and threes, and everyone had a go on the different presses. The results were admirable and everyone seemed to enjoy trying out the varied processes involved in creating a forme and battling to make a good impression.

Clerihew Poetry

Today’s post anticipates tomorrow’s workshops, where hopefully we will all get stuck into some inking up and printing practice.

Alison Cook, one of our excellent volunteers, has penned the following Clerihew poems referencing the project. She notes that Clerihews were invented by Edmund Clerihew Bentley (1875 – 1956).

Clerihews are four lined verses written without metre, with rhyming couplets of AABB. They feature a person (or people) in the first line, they say something about that person, and they are wonderfully humorous. They should be read aloud.

We hope you enjoy these, and look forward to more poetic treats, and probably some brilliant inky photos tomorrow:

William Caxton
leant on a capstan
not wanting to go to sea
establishing a press he printed books for thee

Virginia Woolf
pondered the widening gulf
between image and word,
in print the Waste Land concurred

Vita Sackville-West
thought fiction was best
’til a novel idea came to mind
in a poem called Sissinghurst, you know, of the Georgian kind

Carolyn and Vicki
re-imagined black and sticky
said, that’s enough it’s your turn to letterpress
gung ho were the volunteers and printed with finesse