Legacy of Letters 2023: Letterpress Extravaganza—4. Casteggio
July 3, 2023 | Day 4
Il Buon Tempo
The last time that Legacy of Letters visited Il Buon Tempo, Lucio Passerini’s private press, was in 2015. At that time it was located in Milano. In the spring of 2022 Lucio moved the press from Milano to Casteggio, a town in the Oltrepo region south of Pavia. In doing so, he more than doubled his space. We had arranged to spend the whole day at the new location of Il Buon Tempo. It was an opportunity to leisurely look at Lucio’s body of work, especially the projects he has created since 2015, before printing a keepsake alphabet.
After looking at a wide range of Lucio’s work—books, broadsides, and cards—both illustrated and typographic, we had lunch in the studio. It was catered by Lucio’s friends in Casteggio. During lunch it was an opportunity to pepper Lucio with questions about his work, his aesthetic philosophy, his presses and other equipment, and the typefaces he owned.
In the afternoon we printed an alphabet keepsake to go with the one from Archivio Tipografico. We used a Dell’Orto hand press that is on loan to Lucio from the Tipoteca. Since the participants had already been instructed in the basics of operating a platen hand press at Editore Tallone, they used the time to experiment with different color combinations for the tripartite design of the wood type alphabet. The inking was done with a hand-held brayer. The prints were carefully curated before being hung up to dry on wires.
The day at Il Buon Tempo was marvelous (see Jacob Ford’s speedy video). Lucio Passerini was, as ever, amiable and supportive. He gently helped the participants when they encountered problems in pulling the bar, adjusting the inking of the type, retouching the prints, etc. Otherwise, he allowed them to take over.