There’s nothing like putting a book together yourself to make you realize what an incredible job printers can do. Over the last few months I’ve been working on and off on publishing a book I wrote nine years ago. Since it is of specialist interest, we decided to produce it ourselves here at The Oak Tree Press. What a palaver! Everything from typesetting, to design, to scanning watercolours, is a skilled and time-consuming job and my respect for printers and designers has grown enormously. I took as an ideal Satish Kumar’s latest book – Earth Pilgrim – which is a beautiful production, and called its printer – the Cromwell Press Group in Wiltshire. They patiently persevered with someone who was learning as they went along, and produced a fantastic job. Here it is – a very hard object to photograph with its gold-foil titling and image from Nuinn’s edition of Paul Christian’s ‘History and Practice of Magic’. (More on the book here).
With my increased reverence and respect for printers I paid a visit yesterday to what should be a mecca for every lover of print: the Tom Paine printing press and gallery in Lewes High Street. Here you can see a wooden hand press and receive tuition on it and receive initiation too into the arcane arts of letterpress printing. There are new and secondhand books on typography, and art for sale, including cards – one of which I bought and received permission to reproduce here. The moving force behind this enterprise is the artist of the card: Peter Chasseaud whose prodigious creativity can be appreciated by looking through these websites: