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Using the same principles invented by Johannes Gutenberg over 500 years ago, I combine metal, paper, ink and wood to produce books and prints in my Merrickville studio. A love of typography led me to explore printmaking; I find inspiration and graphic black and white possibilities in creating linoleum prints and wood engravings as illustrations for books or in their own editions. All my work is done by hand on a Vandercook S-219AB proofing press.
Why print in such a manner? After all, the technology is over 500 years old, the equipment difficult to acquire, the work absurdly laborious, the editions limited to usually 100 or less with a corresponding tiny readership. Perhaps it is that letterpress can deliver such a crisp impression, or that it imposes a subtle topography on the printed page, as the metal and wood bites into the paper. Perhaps it is the almost electric thrill I receive when pulling a perfect proof. But the real truth for me is that the press is an artistic venture, starting with a love of beautifully designed type skillfully arranged on a well-proportioned page with illustrations seamlessly woven into the design, and bound appropriately. Greyweathers Press is founded on a love of books.
In 2004, Larry Thompson installed a 2400 lb vintage Vandercook proofing press and a considerable weight of lead type in the Merrickville, Ontario studio he shares with Holly Dean. In creating Greyweathers Press, he set out to print letterpress books exclusively with type, but the need for illustrations prompted him to explore relief printmaking in linoleum and wood. His edition of Wordsworth’s Tintern Abbey is the first book to incorporate his own wood engravings. Copies of his books are held in private and public collections in Canada and around the world, including the National Library of Canada (Ottawa), Queen’s University (Kingston), Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library (Toronto), Carleton University (Ottawa) and Otago University (Dunedin, New Zealand).
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1320 Perivale Road East,
PERIVALE GALLERY Open DAILY (10-5) until mid-September. Shannon McMullan and her staff look forward to your visit. Embrace the unique!