Travels: Ditchling Village of Type
Last week I headed to Ditchling Museum of Art and Craft to explore The Village of Type, a celebration of lettering, typography and letterpress print.
Ditchling lies just north of Brighton, a stunningly picturesque village which has drawn in sculptors, weavers, painters and creatives for centuries. Designer Eric Gill worked here, as did Edward Johnston, the creator of the London Underground typeface. We walked from the nearby train station (there was a letterpress trolley onboard the London-Brighton train all weekend!) past cricketers, windmills and fields of horses, stopping at The Bull for a quick G&T before exploring the museum and village.
Nestled by the village duckpond, Ditchling Museum was opened in the former village school in 1985 by sisters Joanna and Hilary Bourne, then 78 and 76 respectively. Refurbished and reopened in 2013, the space is small but perfectly formed, housing a shop and cafe, gallery space, workshop and learning space. The collection is beautifully curated from a wealth of local sources and the interior features furniture from British designers Another Country.
As part of The Village of Type, Ditchling Museum was hosting live letterpress printing alongside retrospectives of local signwriting, the work of Edward Johnstone and the inspirational handwritten signs of Bob and Roberta Smith. We also took some time out to contribute some lino cuts to a giant print being developed for The Big Steam Print (lino printing using a vintage steam roller!).
In the village we explored Gary Stranger's huge hand-painted type, commissioned to emblazon the walls of local buildings - a beautifully incongruous (and sadly temporary) installation that the locals are hoping to keep forever.
We then headed to Interrobang, an international showcase of letterpress print at the Jointure Studios and featuring the Cinematype Numbers we co-created with Tom Mayo. Featuring the work of Oficina Tipográfica São Paulo,The Wireless Press and David Wolske, Interrobang is a fascinating insight into the world and possibilities of letterpress.