The Studio in 2003

Over the summer I meet Karl Kretschmer in Mosbach. He is moving his printing office and sells off leftover paper stock. I choose a few very nice qualities that will come in handy for a number of print projects in the course of the coming years. After all is loaded Karl states there is still space in the car boot and fills it up to the brim with a nameless type of paper, which I still love to work with to this day.

Heiner Buser’s Monotype casting machine

This year my husband and I shall be able to complete casting type on Heiner Buser‘s Monotype machines. Freshly cast and shiny there is now Baskerville, Castellar and Mercurius nicely sorted into cases at the studio. Not only do we take home lovely metal type, but also many memories we will treasure for the rest of our lives. Each time when something went wrong while casting, Heiner and Guenter had to take the machine apart, clean out the alloy from where it had hardened in the wrong places, and put all back together again.

The three Monotype typefaces we cast: Castellar, Baskerville and Mercurius

Having given us the chance to cast our own type means a lot to us. Not so much just for the type itself, but far more acknowledging how Heiner always willingly shared and passed on his knowledge and his own experiences. It was he who told me about calibrated paper, sanded down to a defined thickness, that is used for properly building the packing on the cylinder. I am forever grateful to him.

Having been designed in the 18th century Baskerville is the metal type of choice for the artist‘s book on Tolerance towards Religions. The text is the speech held by Count Mirabeau while debating Human Rights on 22 August 1789. The cover for the book is made from damask fabric in the liturgical colours of the Roman Catholic and the reformed churches respectively, endpapers are pastepapers handmade by Susanne Krause in a design typical of the 18th century. The last copy of the book will be acquired by a lady who intends to give it to a young man in the attempt to keep him from being radicalised.

A printing office not far from where the studio is located is prepared to hand over their last three cabinets with type on the condition that the lot will be put to proper use. That is perfectly fine with me. However, space is in short supply. But, with a bit of contemplation and some more reshuffling it could work. In the end I pick up the three type cabinets, a storage cabinet made of metal and one very long work table. Amongst the metal type are Vendôme and Maxim. The storage cabinet doesn‘t look like much, but comes with an awful lot of weight. And the super long table will have to hibernate behind the house, wrapped up with tarpaulin. What we don‘t know at the time, is that in February the studio will move to a new place with enough space for everything plus the very long table.


Briefly noted:

Sometimes metal type comes into the studio without a name given on the case, which happened with one small black letter. I used it to print a poem by Heine and sent it over to Georg Kandler, asking whether by any chance he might know more about it. And indeed he was able to identify it as Gronau Gotisch.

A handplaten press size A5 joins the team but is not fit for work.

At Buchbinder-Colleg I learn how to sharpen tools on waterstones, with Harald Welzel.

Exhibiting at 17th Minipressenmesse in Mainz (book fair)

Published in 2003:

„Die Schlacht“ – Folksong, sheets painted with earthen pigments prior to printing

„Schmetterlingstraum“, scroll on bamboo stick

„Meine Reise nach Polen“ (My Journey to Poland), series of woodcuts

„Der Frosch un syne Fru“ artist‘s book, 2 woodcuts, one on the cover

„Über die religiöse Toleranz“ (On Tolerance of Religions) artist‘s book, Graf Mirabeau (out of print)

Inking with handrollers


Mainzer Minipressenmesse

Minipressenmesse, Mainz

Hamburger Buntpapier – Susanne Krause

Cover made from damask

To be continued on 6 April 2024


  1. Just lovely, Annette! I’ve told more friends in Bendigo to have a look and a read. M

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