Letterpress on Board and Open Studios

Ditchling Museum, Events & Competitions, Interactive Events, Letterpress On Board, open studios

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So we have returned from our escapades last weekend, having talked to ten train loads of passengers, given out hundreds of free postcard prints and developed a new found respect for the staff who had to push those trolleys all day everyday!

It started bright and early on the train from Victoria. With our modified trolley all cleaned up, branded and packed full of equipment, we set off to Brighton. Unsure of how the public would respond to being offered a free letterpress, limited edition print rather than a sandwich and a cup of tea, we were pleasantly surprised as many people were thoroughly interested on their way to the beach. Information on the Village of Type, Ditchling Museum and the Brighton Festival was dished out aplenty along with dozens of prints too. Arriving at Brighton there was just enough time for a coffee re-fuel before we were off again back to London.

All in all we did ten trips on mostly busy to packed trains full of people heading to the beach or the Brighton Festival itself, about 600 prints were pulled and dished out and we had chats with tons of people, introducing many to Ditchling Museum and village.

Cockpit 30

Open Studios

It’s that time of year again, plus Cockpit Arts is celebrating it’s 30th birthday too! As per usual, we’ll be opening our doors along with 170 other craftspeople and makers across the two sites. We’ll be running live demonstrations of our 120 year old treadle printing press as well, along with the chance to pick up a free one off print. We’re at the Holborn site and the dates and open times are listed below:

Holborn 2nd – 5th June

Opening Times: Thurs 6 – 9pm, Fri, Sat & Sun 11am – 6pm
Cockpit Yard, Northington St, London, WC1N 2NP

Deptford 10th – 12th June

Opening times: Fri 11am – 9pm, Sat & Sun 11am – 6pm
18-22 Creekside London, SE8 3DZ

Letterpress On Board!

Blog, Ditchling Museum, Events & Competitions, Interactive Events, Letterpress On Board

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Having just completed one madcap event involving printing with a steamroller, we’re straight onto the next one this weekend; Letterpress on Board!

Once again in conjunction with Ditchling Museum and as part of their Village of Type celebration of 100 years of the Johnston typeface, we are setting ourselves up to do some live letterpress printing on a train. To coincide with the start of the Brighton Festival this weekend, we’ll be taking an Adana 8×5, fitted to a specially modified trolley, on several trips between London Victoria and Brighton. We’ll offering the public a chance to have a go at printing and take away a specially designed postcard for free.

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We created the design itself with a mixture of regular Gill Sans, and some of the more diverse variations such as Gill Sans Cameo and Gill Sans Light Shadowed, from our collection of lead type.

So if you’re heading down to Brighton for the festival this weekend, or up to London for that matter, and fancy printing one of these postcards, then look out for us on the following trains:


Saturday 7 May
10.20 : London Victoria to Brighton via Hassocks
11:58 : Brighton to London Victoria
13.20 : London Victoria to Brighton via Hassocks
14.28 : Brighton to London Victoria via Hassocks
15.50 : London Victoria to Brighton


Sunday 8 May
10.14 : Brighton to London Victoria
12:06 : London Victoria to Brighton
13.35 : Brighton to London Victoria
15:06 : London Victoria to Brighton
16:35 : Brighton to London Victoria

Press On! At the Big Steam Print

Blog, Ditchling Museum, Events & Competitions, Interactive Events

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After many days spent digging, scraping and carving our way through 1m square of lino, we were ready for the Big Steam Print last Saturday to help celebrate 100 years of the Johnston typeface and the Village of Type in collaboration with Ditchling Museum. Setting up at the fantastic London Transport Museum depot in Acton, we were greeted with a solid toot from the whistle of the steam roller, all the way from Amberley. Some of the other groups had been printing already that morning with fine results from New North Press, James Brown, East London Printmakers, Red Hot Press, Jealous Gallery, and of course Lucky Budgie who came up with the whole idea.

We got down to the task of inking, which took a fair while by hand, especially since we need a good thick coat and only had time for two prints. Inking complete, we set the lino down in the path of the steam roller, followed by the paper and a protective mat. Then it was time to print! Naturally we both had to have a go riding on the footplate, (so we could properly supervise the process of course) as 12.5 tons of pressure was applied to our lino. The unveiling was a bit nerve wracking but the results were great, as you can see below with astonished onlookers Ruth and Brendan from iamacrylic.

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All in all it was a great day out and excellent fun doing a project like this, it’s not very often you get the chance to print with a steam roller! We’d like to say a huge thank you to Ditchling Museum, Lucky Budgie and the London Transport Muesum for organising it, plus of course everyone who backed it on the ArtFund / Art Happens site; as it wouldn’t have happened without you all.

The prints themselves will be on display as part of an exhibition at the Phoenix Gallery in Brighton on the 6th – 21st of August. Keep an eye on the Ditchling Museum’s website as well for news of the other Village of Type events that are happening.