Printer Information

Participant Info

First Name
John
Last Name
Holmes
Press Name
Frayed Frisket Press
City
Dunedin
State
Otago
Country
New Zealand
Website or Blogsite
http://
Year You Started with Letterpress
1963
How You Got Involved In Letterpress Printing

I was given an Adana HS2 in 1963 when my uncle died. He had been a Boy Scout in England from the 1930s and apparently they printed tickets for various functions. He found the Adana very useful and when I got it, one of the chases was still set for a ticket for a Beetle Drive. I was still at Medical School but my introduction to printing was through John Ryder's book Printing for Pleasure. I managed to print the odd item such as invitations for parties. I got wise advice from a commercial printer who also operated a hobby press. He advised that I only print things that are worth the effort of hand setting. Over the years I have taught myself the basics of typography, type setting and printing and now appreciate and value letterpress. We travelled to New Zealand in 1966 and the press came in a tea chest. I gradually acquired small quantities of new type and yearned fro a bigger press. In 1970 I bought a new Adana 85 and operated it in Tanzania from 1971 to 1974. We returned to New Zealand and I got a Cropper treadle and so had the ability to print a larger type area that the 85 but I was unhappy with the quality of inking and impression I could get from a very worn old press. About 1985 I found a Vandercook No. 4 ­minus is inking mechanism and rollers. I had been influenced by Lewis Allen's Printing with the Handpress and so took to hand inking and exploring the larger format. In 1994 I bought a Korrex Proof Press when the last typesetter in New Zealand closed and this has become my main press. In 2003, I was invited to be Printer in Residence at the Wai-te-Ata in Wellington to design and print the cover for a collection of verse. In 2004 I was Printer in residence in the Bibliography Room of the University of Otago and together with an artist-print maker produced a hand printed edition of Faces in the Water, a poem by Brian Turner, then Poet Laureate and recently we completed an edition of a previously unpublished poem by New Zealand writer, the late J K Baxter. More recently I printed a booklet of three previously unpublished letters from Charles Darwin, held in the University of Otago. Early in 2012, I was part of a co-operative group which exhibited twelve sculpted heads of Otago identities, alongside hand printed pages of their comments on Otago and an printmaker's interpretation of the words. Photographs of the heads and the words were published as a booklet "Places".

Presses & Equipment

Adana 85, Vandercook No 4 (on loan to University of Otago Library) and Korrex Stuttgart Press. Typer faces: Monotype Bembo in sizes 8 to 36 point and Garamond in sizes 10 point to 24 point. Caslon (from Stephenson Blake Foundry) in sizes 10 point to 30 point. Monotype Baskerville (from M&H) 10point to 30point Several display faces as well as several fonts of wood type. Latge collection of Monotype printer's fleurons

Education & Training
University of Edinburgh Medical School
Work History

Currently Public Health Medicine specialist (Medical Officer of Health for Otago / Southland) and Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer at Dunedin School of Medicine (University of Otago). Regular contributions to Small Printing (UK) and Vinculum (NZ) as well as It's a Small World, Various small publications listed in Private Press Publications (Private Libraries Association, London), Annual Christmas cards for family and friends

Other Interests & Hobbies
Letterpress Group Memberships, If Any
BPS, Association of Handcraft Printers (New Zealand)
Birth Year
Your Photo or Press Photo

Predefined Group Memberships

APA: Amalgamated Printers Association
AAPA: Amatuer American Press Association
APHA: American Printing History Association
ATF: American Typecasting Fellowship
BPs: British Printing Society
LOLP: Ladies of Letterpress

NAPA: National Amateur Press Association