Creative - Creative on Tour - Letterpress - Printmaking - Skill Learning - Workshop

Harrington and Squires Letterpress Workshop

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Harrington and Squires Letterpress LondonThe second workshop I attended during my R&D with ACE grants for the arts was one in London with the fabulous Harrington and Squires at Tufnell Park (not Toughnall as I found out during the day!).

Letterpress is something I have wanted to explore for a long time now but haven’t got the chance to do so. The only creative letter type imagery I have produced has been through screen print and that usually comes from an image I have taken. To be truthful letters and type have never crossed my mind as being anything creative as its something that has already been chosen for me within my daily life. Such as the fonts and styles determined by my Apple technology or Word documents.

Oh how wrong I was..! Harrington and Squires is a quirky building build literally in between two ‘normal’ buildings. It is made up of three corridor style floors, white brick walls, heavy wooden floors and lots of crafty storage solutions.

The ground floor offers you a shop, trays of letters to choose from and a toilet hidden behind a mirror. The first floor is where the fabulous Adana metal letter presses live with the paper and ink. The third floor is the kitchen and office. Together at the hear of this is Chrissie Charlton and Vicky Fullick who run the building with precise efficiency. The workshops only cater to two people at a time as the space is literally a corridor but that makes it all the more personal and the work you can produce is of quality and elegance.

To start the process you choose a word, saying or both from the vast amounts of fonts available not forgetting the small symbols such as the printers fist. Then it is lined up on a composing stick with lead the size of your longest line as well as spacing from the mutton and nuts (my favourite saying ever!).

Once this is all how you would like it to be you then secure the lettering into a metal frame and use more ‘furniture’ to bulk out the parts where there is a gap. After this you secure the frame to the letterpress, ink up the bed, secure the register paper and print off a proof. Some adjusting of the paper is then done so you can get exactly what you want on the paper you have chosen and away you go!

Overall this has been my most exciting workshop and one that has changed my work forever!

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