Monday, 5 November 2012

Look what I found...

So I have been doing a class in letterpress at the beautiful St Brides' Foundation. It was set up as a social centre and library for printers in the heart of Fleet Street back in 1895, when Fleet St was the centre of the printing trade, and is still going strong today.

The library is the best in the world on typography, graphic design, printing and book arts, and only fairly recently they've set up a studio housing old printing presses that would otherwise be gathering dust or (horrors) be on the scrapheap.
Do you believe in karma? I found a lovely 1950s typesetting manual in the Oxfam bookshop and offered it to my tutor as a library donation. The director came down and shook my hand, and was all pleased with it and I felt a warm glow.

And then later on in the class as I was looking through the scrap paper drawer for paper to print on, I came across this...

 I would have loved it anyway, but it is by Stanley Donwood, who sometimes uses the studio.

Stanley Donwood.

STANLEY DONWOOD. The artist who works with Radiohead.  I love his prints but they always sell out in a nanosecond, and I couldn't afford him anyway. (This is an unsigned proof, but unmistakeable.)

"This was in the scrap drawer, Helen! It can't be in the scrap drawer!"
"Well well, Stanley Donwood. I think you should take it home..."


  1. The fingerposts that tell you you are on the right path. How lovely!

  2. I knew Stanley Donwood when he had red hair and a different name.

    I didn't know about the library, though. Is it open to riff-raff?

  3. Hi Michele! Thanks! I felt like it was my reward for being a good girl.

    Arabella, it was lovely. I literally gasped when I pulled it out of the paper drawer. It was generous too, I just saw on the website a signed print is about £700.

    Tim, ooh, do tell. Is he a friend? What was his name? (He has no hair now.)

    The library most definitely is open to riff-raff, but it's not open all the time.

  4. Also, I am grateful to my blog friends. I realised that though this was so exciting to me, nobody in my real life could give a shit. I know if I told them, they'd just go 'That's nice, dear.'

    *sigh* I wish I knew people who liked art the way that I do.

  5. He wasn't really a friend, but he seemed an amiable enough fellow whenever I encountered him. He was the flatmate of the boyfriend of someone I was sort of seeing on the sly. Awkward. Real name Dan Rickwood, if I remember.

    And poo and bums to reality. We're your friends now. :-)

  6. Lovely print - it's amazing what you find in the scarp paper drawer. I've found some of my best lessons in there.

  7. Nice one, TB.

    I'm running out of space in my house for all my scrap paper. I need a STUDIO.

  8. Annie, just for the heck of it, check out Thornwillow Press -- you may connect with some kindreds :)

  9. Thanks Michele - beautiful work there...