Letterpress workshop at St Bride Foundation
I've been wanting to do a letterpress course for years and was delighted when my wife bought me one for my 50th birthday at St Bride Foundation in London (the workshop is pictured above). And I'm equally delighted to report it was excellent. There were only two of us on our course - Mick Clayton the tutor says he prefers very small numbers and never takes more than four people at a time because he believes you need individual attention. He's absolutely right, it's tricky and for beginners there's a lot to get to grips with, but Mick - who has spent almost his entire life working with letterpress and in Fleet Street - is an ideal tutor, relaxed, friendly but authoritative. I have no hesitation in recommending the course if you're at all interested.
We worked mainly on an Adana press (pictured below) which is not too tricky to handle for beginners.
And this is my first effort. I tried really hard to get it right but see how many mistakes you can spot! Mick gently made me and my fellow apprentice correct them all (which is quite tricky because that also alters the spacing...).
And I also got to have a go with one of the bigger presses (the one middle right in the top photo) and was pleased with the result below...
It's not cheap to buy your own Adana, but I'm sorely tempted to set up my own little press at home.
And here's a brief interview with Mick...