and I have been much pre-occupied with the fast approaching Tom Paine Festival here in Lewes and my printmaking group's new book - Tom Paine in Lewes.
There have been the usual hiccups with printing - well more like loud burps actually - driving us to distraction; the usual story, paper mills closing down or their products becoming unavailable or changing their character completely whilst still being called 'exactly the same thing' despite being miraculously smoother, shinier, thinner ......and whether we can actually believe this story or not ( but sadly yes, we probably can...)
oh well - the images look lovely; please check out our website
The book is being bound by Bookbinders of Lewes at this moment.
Do come along to the show, which will up all through July and until 24th August; there will also be a trail of mounted prints in the windows of many of our individual shops along the High Street between Westgate and School Hill for the duration of the actual Festival - 4 - 14 July.
There is a good program of events, dramatic productions and free talks and debates, and a nail dance in the streets - see the official Festival website
Paddock Printmakers will also have a stand at The Do at the Depot at Harveys Depot in Pinwell Lane , Lewes on the 3rd of July
for details of that event....
and most excitingly -
the Tom Paine Printing Press is now installed in the Market Tower ready for the festival, and my husband Peter Chasseaud will be demonstrating how it works every day, and printing some Tom Paine material, beginning with the 'Case of the Officers of Excise' which Tom wrote whilst living and working in Lewes.
The press was built by Alan May, who made the Gutenburg Press for Stephen Fry and which was the subject of a very good television program. This facsimile Common Press is from a really beautiful piece of oak and looks wonderful as well as printing well despite the rather wobbly floor of the space in the Market Tower where they used to house the town Fire Engine.
Alan and his wife Judith brought it down from Stafford in a trailer and we really enjoyed getting to know them better over the two days it took to get it up and running. There is still a lot to be sorted out but Peter has kindly agreed that Paddock Printmakers can use him as a base for selling our book and unframed prints and cards during the summer.
The Press is going to be available for artists projects, so maybe one day we will be able to print one of our books with him, straight from the wood or lino blocks on the press. After our struggles with digital production the thought of a hands-on and within-our-control in-house production seems very tempting, tho would doubtless bring its own set of problems and surprises.
See more about the Press , with lots of pictures, on