By Mark Svendsen | Posted on December 13th, 2017
An International Best Seller Set in Rockhampton!
Of all life’s burning questions perhaps: What is Officina Athelstane? is not top of your list.
Perhaps it is pushed to the back of your mind by:
Why do I exist?
Who let the dogs out?
What makes a good life?
Did I leave the iron on?
Is Justin Bieber a better singer than Adele?
Whether it’s questions of existential angst or the mechanics of everyday life that fill your waking moments there is always space for one more enquiry.
To answer what Officina Athelstane is, one needs only ask what the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Manchester, Monash and Queensland all have in common? They are all great universities and all great universities have great libraries, made great, in part, by having special and rare book collections. And now …
the collections at these great universities house a work published by letterpress artist Derek Lamb under the imprimatur of his press,
From his Walter Reid Cultural Centre studio in Rockhampton, Australia, Derek turns out printed work which, as his list of buyers world-wide attest, is highly valued by those in the know. The great university library collections are not alone in collecting special and rare books, posters, and cards from Officina Athelstane. Derek’s work is now also represented in the collections of the National Library of Australia; State Library of Queensland; State Library of New South Wales; State Library of Victoria and private collections throughout Australia and in the United States, Ireland and Thailand. Fortunately the sales are all high end because making Officina Athelstane books is enormously expensive, as they are all hand set on high quality papers, sometimes using type which has been cast specifically for the purpose.
His latest book is a reprint of Jonathan Swift’s famous political tract A Modest Proposal. Derek collaborated on this project with artist Maaret Sinkko who screenprinted her illustrations onto pages which had first been individually hand laid, then hand printed on Officina Athelstane’s 1887 Alexandra platen press. Finally, Derek sourced individually hand-marbled papers to make covers for this most handsome volume in an edition of only 75 copies.
So that’s what Officina Athelstane is!
Now you are in the know the only question remaining is: Have you bought your copy of Derek’s latest book, poster or card?
All images supplied. © Officina Athelstane & Maaret Sinkko
Image Credit:Derek Lamb