Making Friends With Your Adana Press – CFPR, UWE Bristol

by Angela

I attended Making Friends With Your Adana Press  at the CFPR, UWE Bristol on the 2nd & 3rd of July.  I do not own an Adana Press but have been toying with the idea.  All of the other participants brought their lovely Adana’s with them. I suppose even if I did have one I couldn’t have brought it because I came on the train! The course was led by Angie Butler and her husband Si – and there was a lovely Adana there ready for me to use (above).

Day One: Parts, Maintenance, Lock-Up and Printing: Angie & Si Butler
Press Anatomy
Set Up and Press Care
Locking up
Printing with Type and Blocks
Day Two: Printing, Techniques and Trouble-shooting : Angie Butler
Printing with plates and Lino

I’ve put the full set of photos here on Flickr.  We started off looking at different parts of the press and had a run through of general maintenance. I’m sure Angie and Si found it very gratifying with all the ooohs! and aaahs! as those who owned Adana presses found out names of parts and oiling points that they didn’t even realise existed. I was fascinated and I don’t even own one!

I am not sure why but I was particularly fascinated with the counter mechanism that some of the presses had. It was just such a simple design but obviously a really handy addition to the press.

Hearing about the history of the Adana press was also really enjoyable.  I didn’t realise how widely the were used by organisations like Schools, Church Halls and small businesses. I suppose it makes perfect sense – a cheap way for them to print leaflets, business cards, stationery etc. rather than pay a print company.

We were shown a selection of work produced on the Adana.

It wasn’t until I came to print myself that I really appreciated the skill and patience it took to make this print on the box of matches!

On Day 2 we got to print and I chose a line from an E.E. Cummings poem. Before I even started composing the text Angie guessed right “something about birds” 🙂  I chose grey card and a lovely grey ink. I thought I’d written the colour of the ink down somewhere but I can’t find it now. The typeface is Univers Medium 24.

I was pleased with my prints and really enjoyed using the Adana. Am I going to buy one? I’d love to but at the moment I don’t have the room. Yes they are small but I have 6 typewriters (!) and it is not just the press its all the paraphernalia that goes with it – type trays etc.

I was really happy I was able to make an Edition of this Print – 18 in total. My first Print Edition on an Adana Press.

At the end of the course along with our certificates we were presented with a Printcraft Magazine each.  Mine is from March 1955.  I just love reading these old magazines. In this one I particularly enjoyed the letters page – the story of the shy printer from Birmingham who proposed by composing a card on his Adana.

Angie and Si were great tutors and perfectly complimented each other in their individual areas of knowledge about the press and letterpress printing.  Also  – a really lovely bunch of people on the course and a presentation of lovely letterpress work from the very talented Mog Fry

If you haven’t tried one yet I would thoroughly recommend the CPD Courses at the CFPR Bristol. I should know I’ve been doing them since 2006 🙂 and there’s the running joke that they are running out of courses for me to do.  Apart from learning a new skill its lovely to meet other artists, share ideas and tips and find new ways of working. Then there’s the really great facilities at UWE and of course the very knowledgeable and helpful tutors.

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Elephant's Child 28th July 2015 - 8:13 am

It sounds like a marvellous day – and I love the quote you chose too. Little birds are feathered enchantment.

Angela 28th July 2015 - 8:24 am

Feathered enchantment – what a beautiful way to describe lovely little birds. Thank you Elephant's Child and thanks once again for taking the time to read and comment. I often feel guilty because I don't visit your lovely blog often enough. I know if I go there now there's bound to be some beautiful photos of birds or other wonderful wildlife. Hope you are well 😉


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