I was extremely fortunate to win a scholarship from The Ladies of Letterpress, to attend a 5 week letterpress course at Central Tafe, Northbridge Perth Western Australia, through their Slice short creative course programme.
Every Wednesday evening for 5 weeks, I was lucky enough to indulge in a few hours of creative typesetting the 'old school' way. Handling vintage Hamilton wood type some as big as 20cm with the most beautiful patina, locking them up, coating them in oil based inks and feeding them into a flat bed letterpress proofing press printer, felt like an extravagant indulgence.
Being able to work with moveable type that I wouldn't otherwise have access to, and using proofing presses that I haven't worked with in the past was a real treat.
Having an expert teacher like Bradley (36+ years industry experience) was also invaluable. There were so many little tips and hints that Bradley openly and encouragingly shared. Some basic practices that my own training (being self taught) had skipped over, such as using the type rule to measure the correct length of furniture, how the height of all type is uniformed and in measurable units that match up with furniture heights and widths so that a neat lock up is achievable. Even the 'quick' method to finding the centre of the paper or print.
Of course, the added bonus was to mix with a group of other letterpress enthusiasts who shared a love of woodtype, lock up, oily inks and greasy machines.
The collection of vintage presses included Hamilton wood type, 2 hot foil presses, 3 proofing presses, 2 hand presses including a beautiful (and massive) Improved highly ornamented Columbian press, as well as several other authentic letterpress tools of the trade - and then some!
Please indulge me as I 'show off' the fruits of my labour, and join me in drooling over the amazing images very close to my heart.