text/gallery have asked us to take part in Imaginary Menagerie, their forthcoming exhibition of tongue twisters. Mary Plunkett, who is with us from Dublin on a three month Leonardo de Vinci project grant, is making two prints with wood type. You can see them at the gallery from 20 October to 22 November, and we’ll be posting photos of them too.
Archive for the 'Exhibiting' Category
Don’t miss Reverting to Type at the Standpoint Gallery. It’s a large and exciting exhibition of letterpress work, a fantastic achievement by curators Graham Bignell and Richard Ardagh. We were even tempted to reach for our credit card, but the stunning piece form Hatch Showprint that we had in mind had already been snapped up.
Here are the first sixty bound copy of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, complete with illustration on the front and label on the spine. Hannah finished them today, Angela’s coming to sign them tomorrow, and the launch is on Wednesday. Yippeee! It’s from 10 am to 7 pm at Few and Far, 242 Brompton Road, London SW3 2BB, and we hope to see you there.
There’s going to be a lot happening around here over the next few weeks.
We’re really pleased to be part of the second St Jude’s in the City at the Bankside Gallery, 48 Hopton Street, London SE1 9JH. Nine of our posters are being framed for exhibition at the moment. There will also be unframed copies in browsers, so we have a lot of wrapping in celophane to do. The show runs from the 10th to the 21st of November, and the gallery is open from 11 am to 6 pm.
Then on 17 November we’re launching our new edition of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, with Angela Barrett’s wonderful illustrations. That’s happening at Few and Far, 242 Brompton Road, London SW3 2BB from 10 am to 7 pm.
Next is a show at St Bride Library on 19 November to accompany Letterpress: Forward Thinking. Phil and Nick will be talking about our Monotype installation at the conference in full, gory, technical detail. Other speakers include Jon Kielty, Ross Shaw and Patrick Randle, all ex-Hand & Eye, and Sandro Berra, director of the wonderful Tipoteca Italiana. The previous letterpress conference at St Bride was enormously successful and was sold out long in advance, so book your tickets now.
And from 10 December to 22 January there is the Reverting To Type exhibition organised by New North Press at Standpoint Gallery, 45 Coronet Street, London N1 6HD. It will be a major show which will showcase the work of twenty contemporary letterpress practitioners from around the world, with contributions from three leading art colleges and the first eight in an ongoing series of prints made by New North Press with especially invited collaborators.
We are great admirers of the Whittington Press, and it is always a privilege to take part in their open day. It has the refreshing effect of reminding us why we do what we do. We feel at home with their FAG proofing press, and it’s great to give visitors a chance to print something on it themselves. Last year we were making a lot of posters, so we designed one for the show and took the forme with us. This year we wanted to take something we had cast.
There were several jobs to cast on Friday, in two or three different sizes, and the most convenient order in which to do them was with the Whittington job last. It all went well, and by about 5 pm Nick had everything set up and ready to go. Then he was hit on the arm by a large splash of metal. There’s a a lot of cleaning up to do after a splash to get the machine to cast properly once more, often involving cleaning out the mould. Maybe it was the time of day, or maybe it was our inexperience, but we could not make any usable type after that. First metal was leaking from the join between the mould and the matrix. Then the sorts were falling over in the type channel. By about 6 Phil thought he’d better start hand setting the same copy as insurance. He finished correcting it at about the same time as Nick brought the caster into line and and finished casting, so we could take the machine set version with us. We didn’t get out of the workshop until 9.30, though.
And the copy? We used a short excerpt from Eric Gill’s Autobiography:
And lettering has this very great advantage over the other arts; at its very base, conjoined and inseparable, are the fair and the fit – most obviously useful and depending for its beauty upon nothing but man’s musical sense. The shapes of the letters do not derive their beauty from any sensual or sentimental reminiscence. No one can say that the o’s roundness appeals to us only because it is like that of an apple or of a girl’s breast or of the full moon. We like the circle because such liking is conatural to the human mind. And no one can say lettering is not a useful trade by which you can serve your fellow men and earn an honest living. Of what other trade or art are these things so palpably true? Moreover it is a precise art. You don’t draw an A and then stand back and say: there, that gives you a good idea of an A as seen through an autumn mist, or: that’s not a real A but gives you a good effect of one. Letters are things, not pictures of things.
Millions of Britons know at least one piece of work by Reynolds Stone. The coat of arms on the front of the United Kingdom passport is his work. He died thirty years ago, so the design is extremely durable.
This year is his centenary, and we’ve just printed an edition of ten of his wood engravings. We’re very excited.
The prints will be part of an exhibition at Sophie Schneideman Rare Books, 331 Portobello Road, London W10 5SA. It will be open Tuesdays to Fridays 11-4, Saturdays 10.30-6 from the 6th to the 21st November. Other times by appointment (07909 963836) or chance.
Like last year, we were put in charge of Whittington Press’s FAG proofer on Saturday. It’s the same model as our own one, so we prepared this poster beforehand, a touch of the Blue Peters.We don’t get to use our 18 line Gill Sans wood letter very often, so this was a good opportunity. We were told afterwards that it was quite a site to see lots of people walking round clutching the copies that they had themselves printed.