Shelf Appeal used to work at a private press in Oldham. At college in Manchester at the time, I used to regularly get on the train or bus and mooch the surrounding towns. Looking for funny little local museums (favourite hangouts, even then) or charity shops and if I was really lucky, a second hand bookshop.
Oldham had a great second hand bookshop. It stocked the vibrant reproduction Curwen patterned papers and I got talking to the owner about the why of that. Turned out a chap called Graham Moss ran a private press in Oldham and stocked the shop with the Curwen papers and his productions. Before I knew it I was an intern at the press, stitching books, designing a book cover, tipping in papers and learning more about the great and good of the illustrated and lettered world.
The Incline Press was at that time on Printer Street Oldham. Of course. A small victorian light industrial building that never got warm (oh, the cracking finger ends) and was piled high and low with various books, pamphlets and printerly press stuff, all in various stages of hand-making. With scuttling four legged assistants under foot. It was a great place to work.
I lost touch with Graham when real life intervened and a move South happened. But a few weeks ago I spotted @Inclinepress on Twitter and typed ‘Hello’. This smart red decorated New Year book came through the post soon after. Made to greet the New Year. From the digital to the handmade. And now back to the digital.
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