May kicked off the start of the skill-share focus of the project. After meeting with the printers of the project it was time to bring in the young generation of artists and designers. The idea of Bristol Set in Print has always been to focus on the skill-share, crossing generations and practices with the common language of letterpress. I had previously advertised for free letterpress workshops, through a few flyers, emails and online websites. I must admit I had concerns that the promise of 'free letterpress workshops' might be a bit misleading, what I was really looking for was a strong group of participants who would get involved with the project, help develop and contribute to the final artwork with their own influence and ideas.......
We met at the Letterpress Collective. I must stop here to acknowledge our friend Nick Hand and Ellen Bills who have been more than supportive at every stage, and kindly let us meet in the back room of Centrespace. We had a brief introduction to all participants and further explanation of the project so far. The turnout was fantastic, about 10 of us, even with the inevitable illnesses and breakdowns, not even the threat of rain could dampen the mood. I had scheduled a tour of the city centre, and was pleasantly pleased to find that the Festival Of Apathy, organised by the aforementioned Nick, was still on, and the Centrespace gallery had an exhibition of contemporary letterpress. So we popped in en-route.
The began the tour, we covered many of the notable print companies of the city. Many of those who had large warehouses in the outskirts began in the city centre, before moving due to expansion or having been damaged during the Blitz.It was fantastic to have John, an ex John Wright Employee with us, he helped keep it on track and was a strong fountain of knowledge, sharing with us bits and pieces which really helped set the scene of how Bristol once was. If anyone would like a route map or more information, please feel free to drop us a message and I will see how I can help.
That afternoon we arrived at Spike Print Studio. After lunch we set to work, designing a final artwork for the project. piece of letterpress art which will be on display in October. It will be a collaboration between the printers of the project and this group of artists. It was a fantastic afternoon and an amazing group, everyone had their own input and skills which contributed to the design. The diversity was great, with writers, illustrators, graphic designers among us, it showed through in the final design. I left feeling invigorated and inspired by the session and look forward to the next, which is this weekend! Oh how time passes, lets see how it turns out, we will be beginning to set the type for the project print!