Platen Press Workshop

The Printing Museum Community
The Printing Museum Community
Public group

262 Thorndon Quay

262 Thorndon Quay · Wellington

How to find us

For entry to the basement premises, text 0274 444-599.

Location image of event venue


This one day workshop will teach you the basics of letterpress and how to print on a treadle platen press. These were the workhorses of the printing industry for over a hundred years and are now popular with letterpress printers. Platen presses have a clamshell action and can be operated by hand, foot or electric motor. They range from large floor models for professional use to tiny ones for printing business or visiting cards. An Arab Foolscap will be the main press used along with several tabletop platen presses. For those who want their own, the museum has some presses available for sale.

This is a great way to learn letterpress printing as most of the principles can be applied to other presses which can be added to the class if requested and time permits.


9.30am - 12.30pm. Introduction to the parts and mechanics of the treadle platen, maintenance and lubrication. Setting up the press. Mixing and handling ink. Type gauges and paper handling. Handset and print type in a creative way drawing on an eclectic collection of lead and wood type and ornaments, to design and print a page of a type catalogue.

1.00pm - 4.00pm. Participants will design and produce a set of personal cards with their own choice of subject. This is an opportunity to create your own—choose a quote from a book, a favourite poem or make it up. Further topics include registration and multi-colour work and printing from photopolymer plates.

The workshops are run by Graham Judd, owner of GTO Printers, and qualified letterpress machinist, with help from other trained letterpress printers. Graham is one of the top letterpress educators in the country and regularly teaches abroad.

Venue: WCBA, Wellington Centre for Book Arts, Woolstore Building, 262 Thorndon Quay, Wellington

Time: 9.30am-4pm Fri 31st July, 2020.

Cost: $140 (less 10% for members). Places are limited and can only be confirmed by payment.

Enrolments to: [masked]

Attendees (2)