One of the wonderful places about any School of Art is the print room. And the print room at Carmarthen School of Art is no different. It is stocked with some remarkable pieces of equipment some of which are quite ancient but still working well. Experts coming from time to time to adjust and tune press rather like a piano tuner!
And on the Access Course we get to work in here EVERYWEEK. This is paradise, taking me back to three intensive years of monoprint 2010 – 2013 working with the late Christine Lock in Marlow. http://www.timbaynesart.co.uk/printmaking-journeys-2010.html
Among Carmarthen’s print room treasures are two Albion presses.
The Albion press is a model of early iron hand printing press, originally designed and manufactured in London by Richard Whittaker Cope around 1820.
Albions continued to be manufactured until the 1930s. They were used for commercial book-printing until the middle of the nineteenth century, and thereafter chiefly for proofing, jobbing work and by private presses.
After Cope's death, Albions were manufactured by his heirs and members of the Hopkinson family trading initially as 'Jonathan and Jeremiah Barrett' and later as 'Hopkinson and Cope', who are said to have improved the design. From the 1850s onwards Albion presses were manufactured under licence by other firms, notably Harrild & Sons, Miller and Richard, and Frederick Ullmer Ltd.
Their distinctive shapes are aesthetically beguiling, quite lovely and their finial tops and crowns are an absolute delight. The embellishments, casting and design breath-taking.
Pressed for time? Discover more about printing presses here http://www.howardironworks.org/collection/ip-albion-hopkinson-1848.html