Traditional techniques on show for Armley Print Fest at Leeds Industrial Museum

Founding member of Leeds Print Workshop Kirstie Williams using the museums 169-year-old Albion Press,  back up and running for a special demonstration of traditional letterpress printing. Picture: Tony Johnson.
Founding member of Leeds Print Workshop Kirstie Williams using the museums 169-year-old Albion Press, back up and running for a special demonstration of traditional letterpress printing. Picture: Tony Johnson.

The first Armley Print Fest took place at Leeds Industrial Museum.

Printmakers and enthusiasts from the area came together for a programme of workshops and film screenings yesterday.
As part of the event, the museum’s "magnificent" 169-year-old Albion Press was back up and running for a special demonstration of traditional letterpress printing.

Artist Milena Dragic making relief print block at the first ever Armley Print Fest at the Leeds Industrial Museum. Picture by Tony Johnson.

Artist Milena Dragic making relief print block at the first ever Armley Print Fest at the Leeds Industrial Museum. Picture by Tony Johnson.

Made by Harrild and Sons of London in around 1850 and used by J Porton printers in Leeds, the press has been careful restored by experts at the museum and still produces "beautiful" prints.

Visitors also had the chance to see drypoint etching demonstrations.

More than 20 local printmakers and artists were selling their work at the event.

Before the event, assistant community curator Chris Sharp said: “The Albion Press is a brilliant example of the city’s rich printing heritage and the fact it’s still up and running after all these years just goes to show how much these incredible machines were built to last.

Work from the Armley Print Fest at Leeds Industrial Museum. Picture by Tony Johnson.

Work from the Armley Print Fest at Leeds Industrial Museum. Picture by Tony Johnson.

“Almost 170 years after the press was built, Leeds still has a real passion and enthusiasm for printing and there are some great independent organisations doing some fascinating creative work.

"By organising the first ever Armley Print Fest, we’re hoping to give some of that work a new spotlight and to introduce the next generation to the art of printing.”