With a nice healthy number of printers under our belt, we are ready to start making way for the next stage of the typesetting project. Not only is the aim to collect stories from these printers, but to pass on their craft, to keep the trade alive and not lose the skills of these men.
Many letterpress folk to day will of had to have picked up bits and pieces along the way, learning as they go, faced with trays of type and spacing without any strong guidance. In contrast these compositors, machine minders and printers have studied a 5 or 6 year apprenticeship, Brunel Technical college, was were many apprentices and printers studied there trade one day a week, spending the rest of their time working on the shop floor. Once completing this they would have been working to print thousands of publications each week, working fast and accurately to produce timetables, magazines, newspapers and books to a strict deadline.
So now we are hoping to pass on their tricks and skills to a newer generation. Although we probably will never be able to match their speed and nimble fingers, there is still a great deal to be learnt.
We will be running 4 workshops over the course of 3 months. These are open to all those interested in improving their letterpress skills and practice.
We will be working together to create a large scale map of Bristol, demonstrating where the print houses in Bristol were, around the 1950's.(There were hundreds) And a small piece for a local newspaper, focused on this history of Bristol Print.
These collaborative sessions will take place, Sat 21st of May, Sat 11th of June, and Sat 16th and Sun 17th of July. The final workshop will be open to members of the public, demonstrating the work which has been created during the workshops.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!