Grain Waves by Peyton Skipwith

Peyton Skipwith

Grain Waves


The private-press world is somewhat arcane and tends to be little known and appreciated beyond those who work in it and outside the membership of obscure bodies such as the Wynkyn de Worde Society and the Double Crown Club – named respectively after Caxton’s assistant and an old paper size. Books printed by private presses seldom receive attention in the pages of Literary Review, the London Review of Books or other such publications for the reason that, being largely handmade, their print runs are small, individual volumes are expensive and review copies are not available. However, for those to whom the act of printing is a passion or obsession, the handling of fonts, paper, type and ink holds an irresistible attraction. Simon Lawrence of the Fleece Press is one such obsessive. When, several years ago, the Society of Wood Engravers (SWE) decided to produce a ‘modest publication’ to mark the 2020 centenary of its foundation, he was the natural choice to be its editor: his family had been supplying engravers with boxwood blocks and engraving tools – gravers, scorpers, bullstickers and spitstickers – since the late 1850s. The idea appealed to him: ‘Somehow my excited and fertile

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