We've known Andy Taylor at The Elrod Press for a little while now, having met him through a friend and then spent time with him at Amberley Museum, where he helps out in the beautiful print shop they loving keep running. Andy's been a great help, with advice, abuse, and tracking down some items we've needed. Anyway, having had what Andy refers to 'letterpress correspondence' course with him via email over the past year, we decided a visit to his was in order. So, last week on a sunny Monday morning we headed south to the seaside.
Andy, in his own words, is one of the last compositors and typesetters around. He's certainly old school. From his large printshop at the end of his garden, crammed full of typesetting machines, he's keeping hot metal letterpress alive and well. An Intertype line caster, two Elrods and a Ludlow take pride of place amongst the presses, type, matrices, metalworking tools, and what can only really be described as stuff. Lots of it too.
Andy still casts almost anything and everything a letterpress printer could want, so if you're looking you should drop him a line. We had a great day, tried our hand at casting, typeset something for a job we're working on, and then went to the pub. Here's some pics of the day (not of the pub).
Who doesn't love a bit of Bodoni
Alignment was a lot more manual back in the day. Indesign this ain't.
Setting our job in a Ludow stick
Casting on the Ludlow. Just to prove we did.
Front panel from one of the Elrod strip casters from which the press takes its name
The wonderful Olley, the Elrod Press' beautiful Boxer, who sadly passed away just a couple of weeks after our visit.