A title from The Old School Press 

Paper Making by Hand in 1953

A valuable description of the process of making paper by hand at Barcham Green's Hayle Mill

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About the book

In print

In 1953 English paper-makers J. Barcham Green Ltd issued a modest booklet describing in detail the process of making paper at their Hayle Mill – a small but valuable historical record of actual practice. A thousand copies were printed on Barcham Green papers but, perhaps because of its somewhat ephemeral nature, it is seldom seen. It was reprinted in 1960 and again in 1967 in slightly varying forms, but in this reprint we have returned to the original text.

Whilst we have not tried to produce an exact facsimile of the booklet, we have followed the flavour of the original in structure and typography. So, in particular, the cover carries the title and the delightful silhouette of the vatman that appeared on the cover of the original.

The text was written by John Barcham Green and is splendidly detailed in its description of the process, and in a style almost like that of Moxon describing printing processes in his Mechanick Exercises. As such is is an important authoritative text by one of England's greatest paper makers.

One of the photographs from the book

About the edition

The original 1953 edition included sixteen photographs of the process as described, showing workers at the mill, poised at the various stages – at the vat, couching, drying, etc. – but they were small and not ideally printed as half-tones. With the kind help of Simon Barcham Green, we have been fortunate to have had access to better prints of the photographs and these have been scanned for giclée printing at The Old School Press on our eight-colour Epson 3800 printer. The original booklet was somewhat constrained by the small amount of space available, so some photographs were severely cropped thereby losing interesting detail, and then printed at a small scale. For our reprint we have printed the entire original photograph in each case, without cropping, on an A5 (210 x 148mm) sheet of Hahnemühle Photo Rag Baryta.

The text of the booklet has been printed on Barcham Green's Finale paper – it was the last paper made at the mill before it closed in 1987 – and the cover on their Chatham Royal. Both papers were damped for printing. The text makes twenty pages and has been printed in 12pt Monotype Caslon with the titles in various sizes of Caslon Old Face from the Stephenson Blake foundry. (You can see a little about the printing of the text on damped hand-made paper by clicking on the 'cuttings' button above.) The binding takes the form of a simple case covered in Barcham Green's Antique Rose, with a pocket on the inside of each board, one holding the booklet and the other holding the sixteen photographs loose together with a sheet of captions. The case is 280mm by 175mm, the booklet 260mm by 160mm.

The edition consists of 130 copies of which 100 are for sale. Copies are £105 each. 

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What others have said about the book

'a lovely production', 'terrific', 'another triumph', 'beautiful'

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