Christ Church library is running a printing workshop to mark the launch of a limited edition of plates from the Songs of Innocence and of Experience (1789-94) by William Blake.
Each set contains 16 plates printed on old hand-made woven paper of c. 1927, presented in a labeled archival binding box with hinged lid and drop-back spine containing a bound pamphlet describing how the exact replica relief-etched plates were made and printed. The colophon notes the number of the set in the edition and that the letterpress of the pamphlet has been set in Bell and Bulmer types and printed by Paul W. Nash at the Strawberry Press, Moreton-in-Marsh. This limited edition of the Songs is intended to be the first in a series of very small limited editions of hand-printed plates from Blake’s illuminated books, that will include sets of selected plates from The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (c. 1793), America a Prophecy (1793), Europe a Prophecy (1794) and Jerusalem (1804-20), each to be similarly presented. This, and the forthcoming editions, will only be available from Christ Church Library or it can be ordered direct by email to Michael Phillips: firstname.lastname@example.org
Having researched Blake’s methods in order to re-create exact replicas of the relief-etched copper plates used to print his illuminated books, Michael Phillips (guest curator of the exhibition William Blake Apprentice & Master, at the Ashmolean Museum) will then demonstrate how the plates were printed on old hand-made woven papers on the replica of the star-wheel rolling press that Blake is known to have used.