Travelling by the book

Hi there

I’m filling out a grant application which would, if I received it, allow me to travel to 4 or 5 countries over a period of 4 to 8 weeks to research my passion: using letterpress to produce fine press books. I’ve made two, and it’s been a lovely slog; now I want to see how others do it, so that I can properly mentor a few people down this end of the world (Australia).

Australia doesn’t provide many opportunities to advance letterpress and fine printing / binding knowledge, and I would love to visit small friendly presses, along with institutions that can offer short workshops or residencies.

So far all I know is I want to go to St Brides Museum in London; I’d like to go to San Francisco and see a press or two there; New York and Chicago are on the wishlist but I’m not sure where to go besides Talas… Germany would be good as well.

Any suggestions as to presses, venues or courses? I only have until the end of February to put this together – I only thought of it last week – and I thought I’d ask the experts (you!) as I trawl the internet, thinking. I’d be travelling in 2010, and the only concrete costs requested on the form are course/residency fees. The rest, i.e. travel & accommodation, gets worked out closer to time.

Sounds good, doesn’t it? I’d be grateful for any suggestions!

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Your welcome to visit New North Press at Standpoint Studios, London.

Museum Meermanno Westreenianum (museum of the book), The Hague, The Netherlands.
Gutenberg Museum, Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany
Plantin Museum, Antwerp, Belgium
Musée de l’Imprimerie et de la Banque, Lyon, France
Georg Kraus (,Düseeldorf, Germany

Any more?

Hi Caren,

If you are planning to visit the UK, then Camberwell and UWE at Bristol might be useful places to add to the list. Camberwell offers a masters in book arts; Sarah Bodman is at UWE. At the very least, contacting someone at each of those places might turn up some useful contacts.

And good luck,

Sue W in Wagga Wagga

There’s Arion Press in San Francisco:

Here’s a video:

I’ve taken my students to Tipoteca Italiana, just north of Venice. It’s out of this world and Sandro the curator is terrific. Also Conde Duque in Madrid has the Imprenta Artesenal. Not as accessible but terrific nonetheless. And if you make it to the Gutenberg Museum check out Druckladen, the letterpress studio next door. Have a great time.

I’d recommend that you talk to Gerald… “Bielerpr” … here on Briar Press. He’s quite accomplished in producing fine letterpress books.

Wow, thanks so much, everyone. This is great. I appreciate your help.

You should definitely check out Hatch Show Print in Nashville Tennessee. It’s the oldest working letterpress poster shop in America. They don’t specialize in binding books but they make mighty fine posters. They offer internships and the staff is very friendly. They would be a great resource to help you get connected to other presses throughout the country. Give them a call :)