access workshop; access studio; printmaking; letterpress workshop; practical printing; book arts; book lovers; artists' books; self printing; self publishing; hand composition

Melbourne Museum of Printing
Access Studio Programs
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Access Studio Programs

Artists, writers and any interested persons are welcome to use the Museum's types and presses to produce their own unique printed works.

These may be single sheets (such as a poster, invite or letterhead), a complete book, or an experimental piece.

Some initial training is required. This may be satisfied by successfully completing the Roots of Printing (professional development workshop). Other options are available.

As from 2008, the studio fee is $200 per person per day. This covers additional instruction and trouble-shooting as required for the chosen task. It also includes basic supplies of ink, paper, use of type and presses. Additional contribution is expected for use of new type from the foundry, or substantial use of type (including hot-metal type that Museum staff produce for you), special inks or paper grades.

Regular users may develop greater skills and need less guidance and may negotiate a better rate for ongoing use. They may also begin to coach other users and gain credit for that.


See our Contact page for phone, mail and email particulars. Or pay us a visit to discuss your ideas. [A full-size mock-up is a great conversation starter.] Or just email from here.

Book Lovers' and Historians' Special

See how books were printed without computers, and try it yourself. We give all required training for you to hand typeset and print a typical book page of your choice. (You could write your own page, of course!)

The process takes about two days of mental concentration and getting your hands dirty. You finish up with a printed page (multiple copies) of typesetting using a typeface similar to the books of old.

If an illustration is appropriate, you can make a lino-cut or woodcut or commission a photoengraving and this can be printed along with the typesetting.

It may be possible for you to retain the typesetting intact. You could frame it along with a copy of the printed page.

Printmakers' Access

A number of printmakers (both students and professionals) have made use of our Access Studio to produce text-based pages for their folio or for sale as a limited edition. And, increasingly, we are seeing commissioned print-runs produced by a designer because their client likes the look and feel of letterpress.

In some cases, text has been added to sheets which have already received an image printed by other means such as etchings.

In other cases, the text component was on a sheet by itself. Or the text was accompanied by a relief block (such as a linocut) which was printed in the same pass. Or the text was the whole document.

This process is very suitable for the text component of ``Artist's Books''.

The work does not have to be pretentious. Very simple works have been produced quite elegantly by persons with no previous experience and who were not artists but just wanted to print something nice for themselves.

Production Access Program

While anything printed these days by letterpress may be considered a work of art, the emphasis here is on design, typesetting and printing of complete works of prose or poetry.

And while many desire to produce their letterpress work as a limited edition, the process is also well suited to those who wish to produce a commercial print-run. The main requirements are to have sufficient time available and to plan it carefully after consultation with Museum personnel.

The items produced may range from single sheets of poetry to complete volumes. And the sheet can vary in size from postage-stamp size with very small but clear type to large posters.

See our Collection of Works

printed by visiting artists, writers, students and amateur printers.

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