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.
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.