Studio Visit: Otakou Press

Lynn Taylor gives us a 'guided tour' of the Otakou Press room at the University of Otago
at the completion of the '8x3' project:

 This blog entry focuses on some snippets from the residency project ‘8 x 3’ 
which is hot off the press!
8 New Zealand writers (Jenny Bornholdt, Riemke Ensing, Charlotte Grimshaw, 
Bernadette Hall, Fiona Kidman, Elizabeth Knox, Cilla McQueen and Emma Neale) 
and 3 printers (Tara McLeod, Rob Lamb and John Holmes) are creating a folio of posters. 

This year’s Printers in Residence (from left)
Rob Lamb, Tara McLeod and John Holmes
in the University’s Otakou Press room.
Photo: Sharron Bennett.

The Otakou Press is located within the University Library, 
students can get glimpses on the activity within 
and the room itself overlooks the Otago Museum reserve 
creating nice connections between people, books and the outdoors.

The Otago’s Printer in Residence programme was created in 2003
by Special Collections Librarian Dr Donald Kerr
and the then University Librarian Michael Wooliscroft.
Each year, a printer spends a month or so creating a hand-printed book
featuring the work of (primarily) New Zealand authors

There are a variety of presses in the room,
including an etching press which is used on residencies  
when images, usually translated onto solar plate,
are printed in conjunction with the letterpress.

A major part of the appeal of the room for me
is the collection of letterpress furniture and wood and lead type.
(Putting it all away after use is not, however, so desirable)

Composition, or typesetting, is where pieces of movable type
are assembled to form the desired text.  
Proofs are made to weed out any pesky spelling mistakes
and the entire complex of type, blocks, furniture,
and chase is locked into place—creating what is called a form.

This form was printed on the Albion Press

Another form.
In the early stages Tara plans out the designs on paper,
combining sketches and printed text and image blocks.
What becomes immediately apparent is the importance
of what parts of the page are left blank.
(Sorry forgot to get a photo of this!) 

Rob Lamb inking up...

Rob Lamb printing the colophon
on Columbian Press.

Close up of the freshly printed page.

John Holmes and Tara McLeod
compiling editioned work into portfolios

A delicious stack of posters

8 x 3 Portfolio detail

For more info see this article on Otago University website 

There is a nice short video about this project located at:

Thanks to Lynn Taylor for the photos 
and to Otakou Press for allowing us to have a look around your studio.