Letterpress | 451life


When Justin Knopp started collecting Letterpress printing machines the revival in letterpress printing was unheard of and he thought he was the last man standing. In fact he felt he was saving these old presses and giving them a home. This was a hobby, an obsession.

Now the craft has been revived and Justin's passion is his day job. Spending a day filming with him felt both evocative of another era and right up to date with the broader craft movement. The wonderfully mechanical sounds and the physicality of the process, the relationship between the type, the pressure, the ink and the bite of the paper creates a real human connection. Each machine works differently and is tailored to a specific job or task and Justin's enthusiasm for and affinity with the process made is reflected in each piece of work. Just like Dan Pearson's connection with the soil and planting, Joseph Warren's collection and manipulating of images, Jeremy Lee's experimenting with herbs, the joy of the journey is part of the creative process. There is also that sense of looking after something and wanting to pass it on. We at 451 are very happy to pass this film on - we hope it inspires you.