Thursday, 23 January 2014


Exmouth from the train at Starcross

I got an early train to Plymouth University on Tuesday to take part in a letterpress printing induction in the Faculty of Arts Scott Building, with writers Anthony Caleshu, Angela Szczepaniak and Jamie Popowich. The three-hour workshop was run by Paul Collier -- a printer, technician and teacher who is in charge of the outstanding type collection located in Plymouth. There is a large range of lead and wood types which are no longer manufactured commercially. I understand that the collection is of national importance, there is certainly no other collection like it in the region. So it was a privilege to have a demonstration of how type is composed and how some of the different kinds of printing machinery work. We set our names and some lines of type and they were combined into a column that we each got to print on good quality paper. It came out OK for a first try, the feel of the impression on inked paper does it for me, beautiful. My first books were pulp novels printed letterpress by NEL in the early 1970s and I saw each one first in a heap of galleys with I think three pages on each long sheet, very different from the current digital print.
    I'm hoping to get some new work made in letterpress over the next few weeks.
The printshop at Plymouth University

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