Page 8 - February 2018
P. 8

FEATURE BARBARA A MORTON 10837


       long periods of delightful conversation of
       letterpress – and beyond.

       Going to Print
       On page 42 of Publishing and Printing at
       Home, the authors estimate a time of be-
       tween 14 – 18 hours to set a small pamphlet
       of eight pages. I think we stretched that a
       bit. Even so, eventually all my text was set
       in type and we were ready to print. Using
       Conqueror laid paper in cream, though it
       seemed to us ambitious, John encouraged
       us to aim for an edition of 100.
         Which brings us to the Press. Anyone
       who has paid a visit to the Press Here
       Studio will be aware of the fine collection
       of working presses available – a highlight of
       the studio tour is to watch John do printing
       demonstrations. For this project, John
       suggested using the Vandercook. Encour-
       aged by the ease with which John inked the
       rollers then printed the first few pages, Jim
       then took over and – surprise – managed to
       start printing.
         For a total beginner, Jim found the
       Vandercook relatively straightforward
       – friendly, efficient, and accurate. With
       initial trial and error we learned to judge
       the amount of ink needed – a very small
       amount goes a very long way. And once
       printing got underway it proved very
       reliable and relatively safe to use. Again,   a very special letterpress enthusiast and
       following some basic tips from John we   learned much about the history and the
       used pages of old newspapers cut to size   potential of this exceptional craft.
       for interleaving then stacked the printed
       pages in bundles of ten. We reached a pro-  Final Stages
       duction level of 110 pages in just over the   Back at home, our task now was to as-
       hour. We were printing!               semble the pages in correct order, screen
         Printing paused just before Christmas.   print the cover, then hand-sew using linen
       We met again mid-January and then, with   thread. We were ready to take Theory
       just two more visits to the studio, on 27   of Colour to the Fruitmarket Gallery in
       January 2017 we achieved what we came to   Edinburgh, where we had been invited to
       do. Not only had we printed a full pam-  exhibit our books as part of the Artists’
       phlet: we had made the acquaintance of   Book Fair 2017.
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