New old press at SBF provides hands-on history

By Barney Cox, Thursday 30 October 2014

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A reproduction of an early wooden press, based on an illustration by Dürer, has been installed at the St Bride Foundation Print Workshop.


The Durer press in-situ at SBF print workshop

It was commissioned by The Dürer Press Group, which has an interest in historic printing, to provide a tool to better understand the development of printing.

Members of The Dürer Press Group include letterpress printers, private press owners, typecasters, print historians and graphic designers. 

“The reasons for producing the press were two-fold, firstly to research early printing and secondly for practical use, so it can be used and be seen being used,” said David Bolton of The Dürer Press Group.

The group formalised its long-held dream to build a press after meeting up early this summer and self-funded the construction.

Print historian and craftsman Alan May constructed the press this summer. May had previously made a reconstruction of an early wooden press to print a facsimile page of Gutenberg’s 42-line Bible for the 2008 TV documentary The machine that made us, presented by Stephen Fry.

The press will be formally launched at the SBF Print Workshop on the evening of Wednesday 12 November at 6pm. The event is open to anyone interested, for further details email Gill Clayton at

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