Sunday, 20 October 2013

Olde Tayles Newlye Relayted (Crawhall, Tuer & Field)

Olde Tayles Newlye Relayted

Some while ago I was fortunate to purchase an original copy of an intriguing book illustratrated by Joseph Crawhall II of Newcastle. The book is called ‘Olde Tayles Newlye Relayted: Enryched with all ye ancyente embellyshmentes’ and it was published by Field & Tuer of the Leadenhall Press in London in 1883. The book comprises of a series of folk ballads from chap books, and its styling sits somewhere between parody of, and a homage to, book design and illustration of the 17th and 18th centuries.

The book is printed on coarse, fibrous paper, making for a thick and weighty book, and the type is set in several different typefaces including a blackletter. It is the illustrations that are particularly curious and they set a certain quirky tone throughout. The images are woodcuts rather than fine line engravings and have a fairly crude, dense and yet striking presence on the printed page. Some of the solid, staring faces of Crawhall’s subjects can on occasion appear slightly eerie, as this advert for Pears’ Soap illustrates.

You can read more about the life and work of Joseph Crawhall II at the site of The Joseph Crawhall Society.


Andrew White Tuer. Proprietor of the Leadenhall Press.


Joseph Crawhall II
Joseph Crawhall II
Title page for Olde Tayles Newlye Relayed
Title page for Olde Tayles Newlye Relayed
The Leadenhall Press
Printing from The Leadenhall Press, London.


Love conquers all.
Love conquers all.


Olde Tayles Cover
A new cover was added whilst in the possession of Ealing Library.


Sunday, 29 July 2012

Adana Print Workshop at St. Bride’s, London.


Acouple of years ago I bought an Adana 8×5 from ebay. With it came a lot of type, trays and other bits and pieces. Mostly as a result of lack of time, it’s been sat in my garage under covers. But part of the reason for my inactivity was my simple lack of basic knowledge—I wasn’t sure how to use it or look after it. So I set about addressing this problem by attending a print workshop held within the fantastic printing room of London’s, St Bride Library, just off Fleet Street. A group of five us from a variety of backgrounds were cheerfully tutored by artist and designer Helen Ingham.

The course was precisely what I needed — it wasn’t a creative course, but a technical one, focusing on the setting and printing of type, along with how the machines are to be maintained.

As a starting point, it was suggested that we set our names and the name of the fount we were using. In my case Perpertua 18 point bold.

The humble Adana printing press.
Case of Perpetua Bold 18pt Bold
Setting type in the compositing stick.

After much fiddling about I managed to set just two lines of type! I then set my type in amongst the furniture and chase. Printing has a rich lexicon of unusual terms.

Once done, it was onto inking the plates with rubber based paints.

As one might expect, the output was hardly amazing, but we had a lot of fun and I felt that I’ve gained a new set of skills to explore printing as a creative hobbyist. My garage and its contents of printing goodies beckons.

If at first you don’t succeed…