Now that we've filled up our workspace with lumps of cast iron and thousands of little pieces of lead the time has come to get some ink on paper and expand Statler & Waldorf's little family.
A request on Freecycle for letterpress type was put out without much hope of reply but, to our astonishment, a kind soul in Halifax (Thanks Mike!) called us up saying he had "Loads of the damn stuff. Clogging up my garage - take as much as you want!". Well the suspension on the car is tougher than previously thought as the old banger made the round trip with 32 trays of type, numerous blocks, a tray of spacers, a tray of furniture, a tray of quoins and keys, three chases and a whole pile of other bits and bobs.
Needless to say it's not all sorted yet, but at least the type was in drawers so doesn't need too much moving around.
Other magnanimous benefactors have given us tubs of ink and reams of paper and card. Liz in Luton let us have a lovely old guillotine for a few quid and a small business card guillotine was scavenged from a junk shop in Crosshills along with an old iron book press and an old brass compositing stick. So now we've got the kit, it's time to put the mounting sense of taking on more than we can chew behind us and print something!
So far we've only dipped an inky finger into the world of letterpress and run off a few cards, mainly for ourselves to see what's achievable with what we have. The goal of printing a book seems a long way off, but we've made a start.