The press

Letterpress printing is very immediate and exciting, and can be carried out with very basic tools and techniques. In 2013 I built a homemade letterpress, using a 6-ton hydraulic jack, some bungee cords and a lot of timber – a combination of 15th and 21st century technologies! It is complete with a sliding bed and tympan and frisket, to enable accurate registration. While it is a bit slow to operate, the results are good, and it is very easy to use. The focus is on woodtype,  and the workshops cover the basics of setting out, making ready and printing, as well as exploring possible ways to make your own type. This can be done using a homemade pantograph for a Dremel router, but easier methods include using a scroll saw, jigsaw or even lino cuts. Really large letters could even be produced using a chainsaw …