LASSCO helps re-build William Blake’s printing press at The Ashmolean…
Watch out for “William Blake, Apprentice and Master” a landmark exhibition that is about to open at The Ashmolean, Oxford. At LASSCO Three Pigeons we were delighted to work with guest curator Dr Michael Phillips in helping him source characterful and tough English oak boards with which to re-create the large “rolling” printing press that will form the centre-piece of the exhibition. Blake was one of the last generation to still use such a timber-built press for his printmaking; iron presses super-ceded them and were quickly and universally adopted in the early 19th Century. Nevertheless, Blake, a visionary, developed ground-breaking printing techniques on his old press; Dr Phillips will demonstrate Blake’s methods by periodically printing on the press during the exhibition. The show includes ninety works by Blake and those of his circle.
Dr Michael Phillips on William Blake – a Youtube Video
We salvaged the oak for Blake’s Press from the large bell-frame in All Soul’s Church High Wycombe. The huge timbers formed the framework within the bell-tower from which the full peal of bells were hung. The entire frame was replaced during recent refurbishments. We have sold some of the late Victorian beams “as salvaged” but for the Ashmolean project we re-milled them – planking them into thick boards – in order the press could be constructed. The printing press was made to the original 19th Century plans of the workshop and descriptions from Blake’s contemporaries. It was built in the workshops of our neighbours in Milton Common: Bates & Langbourne.
We were also pleased to help with the re-creation of the interior of William Blake’s workshop for the show, including the loan of a marble inking slab, a handsome period hob-grate and other fittings. It so happens that Blake’s cramped workshop at 13 Hercules Buildings (demolished in 1918), was only a stone’s throw from LASSCO Brunswick House in Lambeth, South London.
The Exhibition runs from 4th December 2014 to 1st March 2015 (Closed Mondays) and you can book tickets via the Ashmolean website here.
… and we’ve helped in the Super-sizing of doll’s houses in “Small Stories” at the V&A Museum of Childhood
Meanwhile at The V&A Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green we are helping to dress a different exhibition entirely: “Small Stories: At Home in a Dolls House”. The exhibition will reveal the fascinating stories behind some of the UK’s best-loved dolls’ houses, taking you on a journey through the history of “the home”, everyday lives and changing family relationships.
The small stories of 12 dolls’ houses from the past 300 years will be brought to life by the characters that “live” or “work” there and LASSCO has helped the curators source exhibits and fixtures as they re-create two of the dolls-house rooms enlarging them to life-size. Read Alice Sage’s blog here – she clearly enjoyed her sourcing trip to LASSCO!
The exhibition encompasses a country mansion, a Victorian town house, a suburban semi and a high-rise apartment. Each of the period dolls’ houses reflects contemporaneous developments in full-scale architecture and design.
The exhibition of tiny objects comes at the conclusion of a mammoth restoration project for them. It runs from 16th December 2014 until September 2015. More information here.