Thursday, April 10, 2014

A printshop in the Center of the Cosmos - Lewes, England

At the top of the High Street in the bustling market town of Lewes, East Sussex, sits the Tom Paine Printing Press.

Click on images to embiggen

Printer Peter Chasseaud set up his letterpress shop just five years ago after a career in fine art and graphic design.

Now he does short run printing for other artists as well as specialty work for commercial printers.

Rather than carving the images into wooden plates as was originally done for letterpress printing, Peter etches his designs into modern photopolymer plates.

The Tom Paine Printing Press is actually a not-for-profit educational organization. It is based around a working 18th-century-style wooden ‘common press’, as used to print Thomas Paine’s pamphlets and books. Together with the trappings of an 18th century print room, type cases, cabinets, frames and the compositor’s ‘stone’, the shop is an excellent educational resource and tourist attraction. Local writers and artists use the press for the production of their own books, pamphlets, broadsheets and prints. As well, the press is used to instruct students of all ages in the complexities of letterpress technology and the crucial importance of the printed word in disseminating ideas.

If you ever find yourself in the Center of the Cosmos - the town of Lewes, England - take the time to visit Peter at the Tom Paine Printing Press and discover the living craft of printing. The shop's web site can be found by clicking HERE