For two weeks in early July we welcomed 13 students from the University of Western Hungary in Sopron through an Erasmus scheme. Though on their summer break, the students were warned that this was to be no holiday and we spent the first day discussing what was to be their project for the duration of their trip. Our goal was to produce a 16pp book with each student responsible for the composition of a single page using type (foundry Caslon strictly off-limits) or their own wood-engraving or linocut.
The group brought with them examples of their work. It was refreshing to see that as graphic design students they were encouraged to draw, engrave, paint, and even worked in sculpture as part of their degree, and it wasn’t long before they headed down to B&Q to buy a multi-pack of lino floor tiles. The majority of the students were new to letterpress so the first week was spent learning the basics of typesetting and printing, with a short intro to the Monotype casters, and an array of cards and posters were produced before work on the book began in the second week.
The book, titled SZIA (meaning Hi in English), is printed on to a mixture of Matrix Fine Laid, and Bugra Butten papers. It is imposed using wood-engravings, linocuts and wood & metal types in an edition of 23 copies.
It was a fantastic fortnight and a pleasure to work with such a talented, enthusiastic and spirited group of young people. The press now feels very quiet . . . and I wish they had taught me how to cook a proper Kolbász!