A visit to The London Centre for Book Arts
Posted by Jamie, March 15, 2013

I had been following the various progress reports from @simongoode and was very interested in how his new book arts centre was coming along. Last October I moved to work in Coggeshall, a sleepy village just outside Colchester, UK and was excited to pay Simon a visit to see how his centre was shaping up. A week later I arrived in London Liverpool Street and walked the short distance to SPACE Studios where the LCBA is based.


I had known that the centre was in its infancy and that there were volunteers involved in helping Simon to complete this large task of opening the UK’s first open-access book arts resource and educational centre. When I arrived I got a better understanding of the scale of the project and the amount of volunteers who were helping Simon. There were half a dozen people scrubbing dismantled nipping presses, sorting metal type into typecases, organising various furniture (used in letterpress printing), allocating it to custom built racks and Simon himself was trying to make sense of an antique guillotine. After a quick tour I decided to volunteer for the afternoon and was put to work sorting galleys of standing type.


Just before I returned home my friends Seán Sills (distillerspress.com) and Mary Plunkett (maryplunkett.ie) payed me a visit at Typoretum. The next day we made the trip to the LCBA to see Simon and get a look at how it had all turned out. The difference since my first visit was incredible and the space was brilliantly geared up for different classes. The LCBA had opened it’s doors some weeks previous and we landed in at the end of one of the letterpress printing classes. We were guided around a letterpress printing area, a type composing area, a paper making section and a excellent book binding space. The LCBA offers ‘workshops and classes in papermaking, letterpress printing, bookbinding and book arts, as well as a membership scheme, and volunteering opportunities’. The images that follow were taken on the day.


Book sewing frame at The London Centre For Book Arts








The LCBA is a fantastic resource and had I stayed in london it would have become a definate hang out spot. You can become a Friend of the LCBA here or get in touch with Simon (hello@londonbookarts.org) about volunteering opportunities.


The London Centre for Book Arts  is open for classes at the weekends.
Follow the centre on twitter and tumblr.


London Centre for Book Arts,
Unit 18, Ground Floor,
SPACE Studios, Britannia Works,
Dace Road, Fish Island,
London E3 2NQ.



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