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Fine books and prints:
the harmony of art and craft

Craftsmen and artists using traditional techniques to create beautiful books.

  • Living Traditions

Our printing techniques and equipment

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The art and craft of printing

Traditional methods and traditional machines

Example of the type produced at Gregynog
Cast type
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The Gregynog Press has used a variety of printing presses during its 80-year existence. The first, an Albion hand press was used to produce two titles, but was soon superseded by the acquisition of a Victoria platen press, which achieved the same quality of printing but more quickly. The first book from the re-established Press, Laboratories of the Spirit, was again printed on the Albion Press (the Victoria Platen had been removed to The National Library of Wales in 1954). The next three books were printed on a hand-operated Soldans Proofmaster until the original Victoria Platen was returned on permanent loan in 1980, thus enabling faster, though still carefully controlled, production.

The main press at Gregynog, used for most printing since 1986.
Heidelberg Cylinder Press
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Gwasg Gregynog acquired its present Heidelberg Cylinder Press in 1986 and, apart from a small selection of items, all books since 1986 have been produced on this press. Considerations of time and money have curtailed, except in the slimmest volumes, the amount of typesetting carried out by hand. Books are currently set in metal types using the 'Monotype' system of composition, which, as its name suggests, is a method of producing single pieces of type. Traditionally, this system uses two separate machines, a keyboard and a casting machine, the former producing a perforated spool of paper that operates the latter. The keyboard and all its potential for human error is, however, eliminated at Gregynog, thanks to the use of the 'Mactronic' system, where the spool is produced direct from the author's floppy disc and then the type cast in the traditional manner. Lines still need to be 'put through the stick' to maintain the Press's typographic standards, as even the best mechanical systems have their limitations.