Last weekend I hopped on a train to Leicester to meet Janet for a Letterpress Printing workshop held at the beautiful Botanic Gardens. After getting a wee bit lost finding the venue, we finally arrived and met the tutor Nick who showed us how to typeset using a traditional letterpress, and how to print from a linocut.
I chose a quote from It's a Wonderful Life (and from The Owl & the Pussycat), along with a picture of a happy moon. I have to admit my favourite part of the day was having access to the amazing collection of wooden and metal letters in a wide array of typefaces. Basically a graphic designer's dream! After I'd made a few copies of my moon print I chose some interesting letters to spell out my blog name.
Here's a quick video to show you briefly how a letterpress works, using Janet's lovely 'books' print. (You can see her final piece here). Lining up the composition takes longer than you'd think and it took a few tries to get an even print, but it was so much fun experimenting! It's hard to believe that books and newspapers used such a time consuming technique up until the middle of last century.
I'd definitely recommend trying a workshop of this kind, the time just flew by! After our class we visited some amazing vintage furniture shops, then met up with the very lovely B of Make Do and Spend and headed for some food. I had a great day out in Leicester and I'd forgotten just how easy it is to get there by train, so I'm looking forward to visiting again soon.