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Printing & design

By hand from Adana to Arab

I became interested in books at an early age, making single illustrated copies about various subjects.


When I was 9 I made a book of my first poem, The Lion, hand writing it and illustrating it with wax crayon drawings interleaved with grease-proof paper to prevent set-off. This copy was given to Maurice Sendak, and is, I hope, still part of his estate.


Later I was given a minute Adana platen press and started to learn the rudiments of hand-printing.


During the summer of 1978 my father arranged for me to be allowed access to an Albion press at the Polytechnic of North London School of Librarianship. It was on this press that I hand-printed the short run of Twelve Poems and used the Chandler Press imprint for the first time.


In 1983 I got an Arab treadle platen press and started letterpress printing in earnest. Work included designing and printing:

  • bookplates for the Opie Collection at the Bodleian Library, Oxford

  • invitations to an event at Lambeth Palace for the Council for the Care of Churches

  • cards for BBC Radio 4 to send to contributors


Some examples of my poem cards are available here.


A photograph of my Arab treadle platen press in the process of printing a new edition of 'Tea'.
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