Sunday, 23 October 2011


Here's a pic of Wicker Woman (or T'Wicker Woman, as we used to say in Sheffield). She found her way to The Tom Paine Printing Press a few weeks ago, and I liked her poise so much that I asked her to stay.

I'll be showing my 'BLAST?' letterpress book (images to follow) at the Oxford Fine Press Book Fair at Oxford Brooks University on 5th & 6th November (damn! I'll be missing Lewes Bonfire).

Recently I've printed a small broadside 'Hurrah! For Bonfire', and also a front cover for the December issue of 'Viva Lewes' (also images to follow).

Sunday, 18 September 2011


Two views of Jonny Hannah's work at The Tom Paine Printing Press

It seems I've been too busy printing and running the Tom Paine Printing Press and Press Gallery to update this blog! Recent events of note were attending the Ditchling Museum Ball (to raise funds for the redevelopment of the Museum) last night at Mount Harry House, a visit to the Whittington Press Open Day on 3rd September, and putting on a show of Jonny Hannah's 'McVouty' and other work at the Press Gallery which ran for two weeks and three weekends during the Lewes District Artwave Festival in late August and the first part of September.

Later this week I'm showing my work at the Whitechapel Art Book Fair (Thursday 22 Sept to Sunday 25 Sept). NB: Thursday is by invitation only. This will be a chance to see my new large-format all-letterpress artist's book 'BLAST?'. I'll post some photos here soon. I'll also be showing some other letterpress work, and my poetic photobooks.

During the first weekend in November I'm showing a large selection of my work at the Oxford Fine Press Fair at Oxford Brooks University.

Thursday, 16 June 2011


Here is the forme, and an artist's proof, for my new limited edition print, a typographical map entitled Sweet Thames. So many peple liked my earlier print The East London Line, which covered the same part of London, that I decided to produce this new one. My standard size for these prints, dictated by the maximum sheet I can print on my replica 18th-century wooden common press, is a bit larger than A2, and to print this sheet I have to pull three times, winding the carriage under the platen in three stages.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011


Ditchling Museum Ball forme on the bed of the Common Press

Ditchling Museum Ball print

A Bodoni Bestiary; in 48pt Bodoni Italic, printed on Khadi hand-made paper
on the Albion benchtop press

48pt Bodoni Bold Italic Alphabet printed on Khadi hand-made paper
on the Albion bench-top press

Sunday, 22 May 2011


Today I visited Ditchling Museum, where Jenny KilBride, Chairman of the Trustees, was kind enough to show me the Stanhope press (No. 50), and explain to me the development plans for the Museum (see

This is the very iron press brought to Ditchling by Hilary Pepler when he set up his first printing operation there (intially known as 'Ditchling Press') in January 1916. At the same time it was joined in Ditchling by a crown folio Albion press and two founts of Caslon Old Face type. The name of the Press was later changed to 'St Dominic's Press', after the Guild of St Joseph and St Dominic, but reverted after a couple of decades to 'The Ditchling Press'. This Stanhope press was later owned by Justin Howes, but returned to Ditchling after Justin's death in 2005.

The press, and indeed all the contents of Ditchling Museum, is being put into store for a couple of years while the Museum is being renovated and enlarged, so I was lucky to be able to see it in situ before it is dismantled. The Museum is currently appealing for funds for the renovation and building work, and is planning a big fundraising ball in September for which I am designing and printing in letterpress the poster and publicity artwork.

I am also working on a book on Ditchling printing to coincide with the reopening of the Museum. This will focus on the materiality of the printing establishment at Ditchling, rather than on the products of St Dominic's Press for which there exist several bibliographies.

Sunday, 8 May 2011


Brilliant Trolley Service Theatre at BABE 2011
Customer Dance at BABE 2011

Two of my Typographical Prints at BABE 2011

Voirin Cylinder Direct Litho Press at Imprimerie Clot, Bramsen & Georges, Paris

Two more of my Typographical Prints at BABE 2011

My Altazimuth Press and Tom Paine Printing Press Stand at BABE 2011

Row of my Typographical prints at BABE 2011

Voirin star-wheel direct litho press at Editions Atelier Clot

Two of these images are of lithographic presses (an old Voirin star-wheel press, used for proofing, and a powered Voirin cylinder direct press) at the Editions Atelier Clot, Imprimerie Clot Bramsen & Georges Paris, which we visited last week and where we were very generously shown around by the master lithographer Christian Bramsen. It was particularly good to see very large lithographic stones being used.

The other images are of the Altazimuth Press and Tom Paine Printing Press stand at the Bristol Artists Book Event (BABE) on 30 April and 1 May, which was a great success overall, and particularly for the Altazimuth and Tom Paine Printing Presses. There was a huge amount of interest in my creative typography, some of which I showed last September at the Whitechapel (London Art Book Fair).

Saturday, 26 February 2011

New ALPHABET prints

Here are two new ALPHABET prints which I've just composed and printed. The top one is in the form of a folding card, printed on Khadi hand-made paper. I just pulled 26 words out of my head for this. It's printed on the Albion press. The height is roughly that of an A4 sheet.

The lower print is a composition created from the 26 letters of the alphabet, all upper case, and all set at 45 degrees to the paper edge. This is printed on the wooden handpress (the 'common press'). It is a bit larger than A2 size.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Columbian Press & Tom Paine Printing Press at Works on Paper Fair

This Columbian Press, in front of my stand at the Watercolours and Works on Paper Fair, is unfortunately not part of The Tom Paine Printing Press's stable of presses! It's the last remaining press in the Science Museum's old printing gallery on the second floor. All the others have been moved out and put in store.

Printing is getting a rough deal from museums in London: no printing gallery any more at the Science Museum, the Type Museum closed indefinitely for lack of funds, the British Library printing gallery closed and its wooden 'common press' relegated to a corner outside the lavatories, and the display at St Bride not open to the public on a regular basis. The Science Museum in particular has no excuse, as it has huge amounts of under-utilised space. It's a great shame that museums seem to have abdicated any reponsibility they may once have felt to cherish our material culture (i.e. things and stuff) and to display and interpret them for the present and future generations. They seem to believe more in empty spaces (remind you of art galleries? Think Tate Modern's Turbine Hall as the classic example), which can be used for outside events and corporate entertaining. If the stuff isn't there on display, it can't feed and stimulate young imaginations. I remember when the Science and other museums were 'mathom houses' chock-full of magical things, and the wonderful effect this had on me and on others. Now they only show a tithe of their original displays. Philistines indeed! Trahaison des clercs.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Happy Birthday to Tom Paine, and other letterpress work

Today's window display is an assemblage of wood-letter blocks: TOM HAPPY BIRTHDAY. Tom Paine was born in Thetford, Norfolk, on 29 January 1737.

Alaso shown are various letterpress Valentine cards, and an 'OFF WITH THEIR HEADS' print - not merely a topical allusion but a quotation from the mouth of Lewis Carroll's Red Queen in Alice.

Here's some quick info about where I'm showing my work (Altazimuth Press, poetic photobooks, and Tom Paine Printing Press, creative letterpress) this year (2011; accurate dates to follow):


Works on Paper Fair, Science Museum, South Kensington, London, 2-7 Feb 2011

Here Gallery, Bristol, March 2011

Bristol Artists Book Event (BABE), April/May 2011

Artwave, Lewes, August-September 2011

Whitechapel Art Book Fair, September 2011

Oxford Fine Press Book Fair, November 2011


Phoenix Brighton Open Studios: May 2012