A belated THANK YOU to all the folks we met or reconnected with on our trip to the UK and Belgium, it was a marvelous reminder of the strengths of both the print and music communities.
Brian and I arrived in the UK a bit road-weary, but the reception from locals in Stroud and at nearby Whittington Press made us swiftly forget. Thanks to John & Pat Randle for taking a break from Matrix 33 production to share their brilliant print work and stories with us. John Grice stopped by, and we were able to bum a ride with him to check out Evergreen Press and also meet Stan Lane at Gloucester Typesetting. Thanks to both for sharing time and fine typographic work with us!
The St Bride Wayzgoose was great fun, and a wonderful gathering of printers and print enthusiasts. There are too many people to thank to list them all here, so suffice it to say we appreciated the camaraderie and hospitality of all. Special appreciation to Mick Clayton for organizing and to Helen Ingham for encouraging us to attend in the first place. If you missed our previous posts, you can see photos and read about the event here. It was nice to reconnect with ex-pat Alix Christie and also our 2015 Stumptown Printers intern, David Armes of Little Red Rabbit/Hot Bed Press /Red Plate Press there as well. We definitely did not spend enough time exploring the library and the collections at St Bride, so we’ll have to do it again!
We hopped the train over to Ghent to visit Armina Ghazaryan of Type & Press, who was kind enough to let us spend the day poking around the print and casting collection at MIAT (Museum of industry, labor & textile). A long walk around the charming medieval city center and a couple beers later we were sorry to say goodbye. Then on to Antwerp to see Patrick Goossens and to finally visit the renowned Plantin-Moretus museum. The collections at the museum are amazing, including some of the oldest manuscripts and earliest printed matter still existing. The print shop was full of kids getting lessons on copperplate engraving and letterpress printing, right in the same building that housed the original print shop from 1576-1876. Patrick spent the day (and most of the evening!) showing us Letter-kunde Press and his extensive collection of hand presses, casting equipment and other printing related machinery. We barely made it out to eat before all the restaurants were closed! The Belgian hospitality was definitely generous — thank you Armina and Patrick.
Our last stop was back in London where we managed to visit Helen Ingham at Central St Martins. Thanks also to Simon & Ira at the London Centre for Book Arts for making time to give us a tour of their facility on Saturday while in the midst of teaching a beginning letterpress workshop! We boarded the plane headed back home with plenty of good memories and inspired ideas.