The inventive Chinese used letterpress printing from the 9th century onwards, with movable type following. Gordon Chesterman gave us a whirlwind ride through letterpress history, right through to the rise and ignominious fall of the printing unions.
Yet despite technology's attempt to eradicate letterpress with digital printing, Phil Treble explained how he succumbed to its infectious lure. His studio will be open to all interested during Cambridge Open Studios in the summer.
We were treated to a demonstration of printing on the cutest little platen press and on banner sized sheets. From delicate bookplates to elephantine poster typefaces. I learnt the difference between monotype and Linotype and was amazed at the casting of letters for single use, only then to be melted and recast anew for the next print run.
After the talk, Phil and Gordon were surrounded by a flow of the curious coming to inspect their artwork up close.
An evening well spent with Ely Creative.