The typesetting project is off! It was quite a slow start, I spent a little while unsure of how best to find and contact previous print workers. I tried flyering churches, community centres, ringing care homes and bookbinders, with little success. Andy King, from the M-shed reccomended I got in touch with the evening post. So I did, and the wonderful Eugene Byrne has been more than helpful.
After one small advert I had a wave of responces. So far, I have met with a number of typesetters, just
brief meetings, getting to know a bit about who they are and the jobs they had. I didnt want to bombard them with a camera and microphone immediately, but that is the eventual plan, for all those willing of course. Something similar to 'Banging Out', St Bride's film about the Wapping Dispute (more to come on this).
It has been 6 or 7 face-to-face meetings so far, not including an interview with Victoria Arrowsmith-Brown, and her father, . They gave me a huge amount of information about their company J.W. Arrowsmiths, and the overview of Bristol Printing. I have met with some fantastic characters so far, and they all had a wealth of information which they were more than willing to share. Some were interested in the history of their companies, what was happening at the time when they worked, they gave me a very strong visual map of Bristol. An idea for one of the artworks for the project is to represent this map, looking at the Old City, and recreating it from before the second world war. Bristol was literally brimming with printers and publishers.
Others were more interested in the skill of their profession, they described in detail with me the tips of the rades, how you would get a perfect impression on the paper, the endless rules of the spacing and leading. I am having to compile a printers dictionary for this exact purpose. If anyone is interested in finding out where 'Upper-case' and 'Lowercase' comes from then feel free to drop me a line- or check for yourself on Wikipedia. So that is all to report so far, hopefull the lovely Joe, who is working on the film will be beginning a production diary, so watch this space.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!