Carl Middleton – Studio B Letterpress Workshop – Carl Middleton established Studio B in 2004 with the aim of using traditional craft methods, materials and processes in the production of quality letterpress prints. The studio sets out to maintain the heritage of letterpress though ‘active use’, with a focus on the application of traditional print processes in a contemporary manner. Alongside traditional methods we embrace, laser cutting and 3D printing to generate printing substrates.
The studio houses one of the largest collections of antique woodblock letters in Somerset. Sited in the heart of the rural village of Milverton (eight miles from Somerset’s county town, Taunton). As the collection is of historical importance, we are a member of the Association of European Printing Museums.
- Letterpress Printing
- Lectures and presentations on the history of print and typography
- Letterpress printing demonstrations and workshops
- Bespoke printing commissions
- Editioning services
I began the collection over three decades ago, accumulating lost artefacts of the printing industry – locating them in second hand and antique shops. Today I have gathered over three hundred cases of wooden type and two hundred metal. I work on a range of printing presses, the largest being a Soldan flatbed proofing press with a printing area of almost A1 in size the smallest a ‘table top’ Adana.
Studio B is part of a wider fraternity of printing workshops who value the process enough to privately invest in it and to promote its qualities wherever possible. A process where we all hope to protect and conserve a key component which helped to inform the evolution of communication.
My personal inspiration is drawn from language, spoken word and the evolving form communication presents itself. Dictionary definitions and descriptive passages in encyclopaedias are my permanent reference material. Coupled with, dialogue and hand-written notation, these all inform and act as a rich resource to inspire work.
Letterpress is, by its nature a slow craft, it demands a carefully sequenced set of activities. The form, shape, colour and placement of text needs careful consideration, with every element being a physical one, even the spacing between lines of text is ‘a thing’ (leading).
My printed works are produced in small editions – numbered, signed and marked.
I always have a range of items in stock, however, if you would like a bespoke item please get in touch and we can discuss the options. I am open weekdays (Monday to Friday from 9.00am to 5.00pm) but, due to the size of the studio and to ensure I have time to tour the facilities and explain the process visitors are by appointment only.
Trade memberships / Awards / Qualifications
Heritage Crafts Association
Studio B, Silver Street, Milverton, Somerset, TA4 1LA
Telephone: 01823 401302