Oxford Guild of Printers

News 2016

Oxford Guild of Printers ~ Minutes ~ A.G.M. 5th December 2016

Apologies: Andrew Judd, Christabel Hardacre, Liz Adams, Paul Nash, Jeremy Wilson, Richard Broughton, James Freemantle, Simon Haviland, Veronica Watts, John Randle and Victoria Stevens.

Present: Simon Gillingham, Joe Swift, Peter White, Christina Kingsmill, Louisa Hare, Hilary Frisby, Priscilla Frost, Margaret Condon, Michael Daniell, Miles Wigfield, Paul Hatcher.

Chairman’s Report

Reference was made to the enjoyable picnic hosted by Alison Felsted and Paul Nash, to the exciting visit to the Department of Graphic Design & Typography at Reading University managed by Martin Andrews, to a buoyant profit-making Wayzgoose, to the fact that O.G.P. members had contributed 24 sonnets to the Bodleian Libray’s project and that in the current edition of Matrix [34], six members and contributed articles.

After my visit with Liz Adams to the Belmont Hall Press of Andrew Judd at the end of August - a shed with a Ludlow caster to marvel at; part of the Worcestershire Open Studios weekend - we moved on to the St Peter’s Printmakers in the nearby church. Andrew told us of their fundraising for equipment; I suggested he approach the Guild; the Guild decided to donate £500. Andrew was not able to attend the A.G.M. but sent me the following letter which was read to the meeting:

First, I apologise that I cannot be with you this evening to give our personal thanks for your very generous award of £500 to St Peter’s Printmakers. I hope this written letter will partly express our gratitude and that we may at a future meeting be able to show you examples of our work. Perhaps some of you can visit Malvern to see how your award has been used. You are most welcome.

St Peter’s Printmakers, a group of people with a practical interest in printmaking (and all things Print), have, since 2012, been meeting on most Friday afternoons at a small Malvern church, St Peter’s, Cowleigh. Originally a tutored printmaking ‘course’, the meetings are now more creative experimental sessions in which participants explore their own printmaking interests. Of 35 ‘registered’ people, perhaps 10 – 12 meet on any single day.

From small beginnings, the group has grown, and continues to grow, in number and range of work. Relief printing remains a primary focus, but etching, dry-point , collagraph and screenprinting are other areas of interest. Most participants live in or close to Malvern but, as word spreads, others travel from a 20-mile radius. Our facilities are few and basic and we felt that this year we should try to improve them. We visited Ironbridge Fine Art and Framing to see in action the presses they make and use, and applied to Malvern Town Council and The Elmley Foundation for grant aid towards the purchase of one of their mid-sized presses. This is designed primarily for etching but has the facility to take type-high blocks for relief and letterpress work. It should be a useful and adaptable piece of equipment. You will be interested to hear that Letterpress is a significant minority interest – three of the group are explorers of the craft: two are Guild members. Our applications were successful and were bolstered by profits from a ‘Taste of Printmaking’ day we held in late October. Your generous award has enabled us reach the target of £2100 for the press and this should be delivered in the next month or so. Then it is down to us to make good use of it.

Further developments include the addition of screens and a u/v lightbox for silkscreen printing and, from January, an extension of our hours. We will then be ‘open for business’ for the whole of Fridays. A second press has been offered and we have accepted this offer. A second ‘Taste of Printmaking’ day has been organized for mid-January and fully subscribed. We are keen to organize other such days and to involve young, and not so young, people in them. We will continue to stage occasional exhibitions of our work and will again, in 2017, be participants in the Worcestershire Open Studios event, which is held over the August Bank Holiday weekend.

Thank you all for your generosity in enabling us to look forward to a bright future of printmaking at St Peter’s.

Treasurer’s Report

Michael Daniell presented succinct accounts which showed a healthy surplus. The committee will consider how this surplus could be addressed. He defended his decision to raise the annual subscription to £20 by observing that day-to-day running costs were only just contained by the subscription, and were likely to rise.

A copy of the accounts is in the Guild archives.

The Chairman thanked Michael for his efforts.

Election of Officers

All members of the committee had offered to continue in post - again. No other candidates for any of the posts had put themselves forward - again. The committees was re-elected en bloc. Proposed by Margaret Condon, seconded by Christina Kingsmill.

Chairman ~ Miles Wigfield Vice-Chairman ~ Richard Lawrence Treasurer ~ Michael Daniell Events Secretary ~ Miles Wigfield Newsletter Editor ~ Liz Adams Membership Secretary ~ Christabel Hardacre Website Manager ~ Phil Treble

Michael Daniell has stated his intention to retire as Treasurer at the end of 2017.

Any Other Business

  1. It was proposed again to offer prizes for both a low-priced book and a single section booklet or piece of ephemera at the Oxford Fine Press Book Fair in November 2017. The committee will consider whether to increase both the number and value of the prizes.

  2. Peter White had suggested a ‘rota’ for volunteers to write an account of the talk given at each meeting. At the moment the Chairman starts each meeting by glowering at the audience in a melancholy way, having asked for a volunteer, and usually the kindest-hearted, too often, steps forward. Peter pointed out that it shouldn’t be too much to ask one person to volunteer to undertake one write-up in any one year. I will endeavour to institute such a system.

  3. The Chairman suggested as a possible jaunt in the summer: a visit to the Bodleian to view the entire collection of 154 sonnets printed letterpress this year. [He had brought the Guild’s contribution to show as a taster.]

  4. In spite of having only two offers so far [including himself] to contribute to ‘Ephemera on Show 2017’ it was decided to persist with this crucial, in the Chairman’s view, aspect of Guild activity.

The meeting closed to enjoy an excellent talk from Dr Paul Hatcher about his Allamanda Press.

Miles Wigfield Chairman 6.12.16

Summer Jaunt ~ Wednesday 25th May

Summer Jaunt to Department of Typography and Graphic Communication, Reading University, Wednesday 25th May

Martin Andrews has kindly agreed to lead a group into this exciting seat of learning. We may well get our hands on the Alan May built wooden press built for Stephen Fry’s programme on Gutenberg; we will certainly be shown treasures from their archives. The department has been instrumental in the formative years of many of the great and good in the world of typography and design; indeed several Guild members started their professional lives there.

The visit will be just for the afternoon, starting at 2 p.m. Numbers will be limited. (First come, first served.) Apply directly to me - Miles Wigfield - (and perhaps say if you’d like to meet for lunch beforehand. If there is sufficient demand for that aspect I will arrange a venue).

O.G.P.Wayzgoose Saturday 22nd October

O.G.P. Wayzgoose wil be held on Saturday 22nd October in the Dora Cohen Hall on the Wheatley Campus of Oxford Brookes University. 40 tables of private presses, type and printing equipment, paper suppliers &c. Tables cost £40 (£30 if booked and paid for before 31.7.16) available through Miles Wigfield: (Chairman@oxfordguildofprinters.com).

The main Oxford Brookes campus is unavailable this year. The Wheatley Campus is on the A40 bypass where there is good parking and a regular bus service from the city centre.