Two ladies and a whole lotta wool
One of the great things about working at Penguin is that we get invited to lunchtime talks from various people who are experts in their field. Last week, we were lucky enough to have Simon Goode who founded and runs the London Centre for Book Arts (LCBA).
If you haven’t heard of the LCBA, you should have. Based on Fish Island in East London, it houses Goode’s collection of old school printing machinery – the very printing machinery he collected that enabled him to open the centre itself. Goode spent time, passion and effort getting this equipment with his vision to open the centre, inspired by his travels to America, where the art of print making was alive and well in a number of community organisations. You can read more about LCBA and what they are all about over on their website.
One of the things they do at LCBA is run courses, glorious course. There are accessible courses that are priced very reasonably and run for 3-4 hours; there are also more in-depth courses that run for a full day. You can obviously choose to start small and work up, LCBA also offers the chance to use the studio after you’ve taken a course, so you can continue to work on and practice the skills you’ve learnt.
I personally intend on becoming a member, and taking as many courses as possible. When I was studying for my art A-level I chose to specialise in screen printing. I remember the relative calm of my 15 hour exam (split into 5 hour slots) compared to my fellow students, who were all crammed into the art room squeezed behind easels, I had the entire print room to myself. It was a wonderful, peaceful, focused 15 hours, surrounded by printing presses, screens, inks, templates, pegging my work up like clothes on a line.
I’m determined to revive those skills and that passion of mine, and I think that the book binding process is an ideal place to start.
On printing, from this reminder of my printing past, I was inspired to check out some Etsy sellers and one in-particular, Drywell, caught my eye; I just love the poster-style of these prints:
And, if that’s not enough print, for more print love try Print Club London, their Instagram feed is a delight to behold and they recently featured at Pick Me Up at Somerset House. Print Club London also run courses – in my bid to stay as busy as ever, I think I’ll try my hand at one of those as well.
I’d love to hear any of your craft course recommendations, in London or beyond, so please do leave a comment below if you know of any gems out there.