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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Rare Book Summer School: 1

Hello from rainy Melbourne! It always seems to rain torrents for at least one day of every visit to this city, and today's the day.

I'm here for the week, to teach a letterpress masterclass at the State Library of Victoria's 2012 Rare Book Summer School. As I write this I'm sitting in the Ancora Press room at the Monash Caulfield campus, learning to wrangle the beasts they house here. I've spent the day playing with their Albion iron hand press and their 'Har-Ma' tabletop press, so that I don't look like a clueless idiot in front of the class tomorrow. I don't mind actually being a clueless idiot, I just don't want to waste their precious learning time doing all the dicking around I've done today, like working out the feel of the handle action on the Albion so it doesn't judder the print, and how to adjust the packing and the platen so I can get a decent print out of the wood type.

I arrived yesterday, and after dumping my heavy bags with SLV Rare Books Librarian and all-round good guy Des Cowley, I took the chance to duck down to the art gallery and catch The Mad Square and fall in love with Otto Dix all over again, especially after I saw a photo of him. Woof!

Then I had a wander around before meeting up with Des again and heading out to my digs, a library-flat owned by another of the RBSS lecturers. He lives across the road, and the flat is his book overflow repository. It's amazing. No tv, no computer, just books and a good bed & bathroom and basic kitchen, with the bathroom being the only room not stuffed with books.

I haven't spent much time in it, because I went out last night, having dinner with Lucy Tartan and her lovely husband, after which she went home to their gorgeous baby and he and I went on to see The Clouds at The Corner pub. Good time had, went to be way too late and now I'm a bit tired.

So off I go, into the rain to get to the Sticky zine fair at the Town Hall and then to the SLV for a RBSS launch, and then I might have a very early night before class tomorrow.

Hopefully next time I'll have some photos.

3 comments:

Cat Drawings said...

Congratulations to you on being a master classer. So proud of you.

The Elephant's Child said...

What Cat Drawings said. I am in awe.

The Shopping Sherpa said...

"Sticky zine fair"? Now I'm (more) jealous...