Page 7 - February 2018
P. 7

I browsed the pages of the extensive   arranged with John to meet again at the
       range of typefaces until, somewhat    same time next Friday.
       overwhelmed with the richness at our dis-
       posal, John, already familiar with poetry   Quarto Days
       publication, suggested the perfect, the   And so Fridays became Quarto Days. On
       enigmatic Bell italic.                our journey from St Andrews to Coupar
                                             Angus we watched autumn colours run to
       Setting the Type                      gold and orange and red. Then the hour
       And so we found ourselves ‘behind-the-  changed – the approach of winter – and we
       counter’ of the Press Here Letterpress   arrived to lights-on in the daytime and the
       Studio. We watched carefully as John,   cosiness of the welcoming studio on short
       with a dexterity that can only come with   winter days. Arriving around mid-day we
       experience, angled the wooden tray of   would assemble our tools, pick up where
       Bell italic above our position then demon-  we left off the week before then set type
       strated the setting of the first few lines of   for the next page of text. A short break for
       text. Inspiring great confidence in our own   warm soup and oatcakes, often with the
       abilities he handed us each a composing-  pleasure of the company of Jenny – who
       stick and, from a safe distance, allowed us   showed little regard for oatcakes, prefer-
       to set type at our own, very slow, albeit very   ring instead to wait for John to bring her
       satisfying, pace.                     biscuits. We worked till close of business at
         At the end of our first day, having   five though often straggling long after, our
       successfully set a full page of type, we   afternoon work lavishly interspersed with
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