Page 21 - Decembert 2014
P. 21

URING ONE OF MY VISITS          by tradiƟonal methods and to maintain
                   to Arundel where I spend       the tradiƟonal feel Morris designed two
                   Ɵme organising art and craŌ    typefaces based on 15th century fonts.
                   fairs I came across an arƟcle  He also made his own paper to complete
                   in a local newspaper relaƟng   the handmade books. KelmscoƩ was only
to some tradiƟonal prinƟng methods used           in operaƟon for seven years but the small
to create books at the turn of the 19th and       press managed to produce more than 18,000
20th Century. As I have an interest in both       copies of more than 50 different works.
tradiƟonal prinƟng and books this led me          In true fine press tradiƟon the KelmscoƩ
to explore the Private Press. Hopefully the       print runs were short and the books were
following may be of interest to members who       not cheap but they were beauƟful and
are supporters of the older styles of prinƟng     exemplified the Arts & CraŌ movement.
from years gone by.                               KelmscoƩ’s finest achievement is considered
      What is a Private Press? It is a term used  by many to be its ediƟon of Works of
in the field of book collecƟng to describe a       Geoffrey Chaucer. The books were designed
prinƟng press operated
as an arƟsƟc or craŌ-                                                         by Morris himself and
based endeavour,                                                              contained around 87
rather than as a purely                                                       woodcut illustraƟons.
commercial venture.
A movement in book                                                                  So this is only a
producƟon flourished at                                                        very brief descripƟon
the turn of the 19th and                                                      of what could be a
20th century under such                                                       very long and detailed
scholar-arƟsts William                                                        history but perhaps
Morris, Sir Emery Walker                                                      members will agree
and others. Walker gave                                                       that despite the
a lecture in 1888 on                                                          need for progress we
the subject of prinƟng                                                        should maintain and
and the founding of Morris’ KelmscoƩ Press                                    protect the tradiƟonal
came about in 1890. The movement was                                          methods of prinƟng
an off-shoot of the Arts & CraŌs movement          wherever possible whilst sƟll embracing the
and represented a rejecƟon of the cheap           more modern methods appreciated by us
mechanised book producƟon methods                 all today. I for one use a computer both for
which developed in the Victorian era. The         work and pleasure besides surfing the net
books were made with high quality materials       frequently but whilst the Kindle and suchlike
(handmade paper, tradiƟonal inks and in           have there place sƟll nothing is beƩer than
some cases specially designed type-faces)         the tradiƟonally printed hardback book or
and were oŌen bound by hand.                      manuscript.
      KelmscoƩ Press was founded in a                                     Sandra Munday (10624)
coƩage where Morris set up three prinƟng
presses which he used to print books

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