Since the foundation of the Druckladen des Gutenberg Museums (Printing Workshop of the Gutenberg Museum) in 1990, the city of Mainz has hosted educational letterpress and printmaking workshops for visitors and children of school age and upwards.
I visited the Druckladen some ten years ago and found its’ workshop occupying two floors and very well equipped with metal and wooden typefaces. Amongst the selection of presses in use were two manual proofing presses and a large iron hand press. There was a lot of activity in the workshop with visitors of all ages hand-setting type and printing (under the supervision of two technicians). Examples of the students’ work filled all the walls of the workshop and it was obvious that great pride is taken in the work produced, especially KIZ – Kinderzeitung, a large format newsletter, hand printed by the regular younger visitors. It is a very impressive collaborative piece and features stories of holidays and experiences, mainly in German and French and is illustrated throughout with multi-coloured lino-cuts.
The Druckladen was run by Dr Otto Martin until his retirement in 2007, upon which occasion he was presented with the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, for his services to education. Dr Martin is now involved with running the BuchKinder-Werkstatt project, which is also located in Mainz and aims to promote the advancement of young people through art education and printmaking. The children are instructed on each stage of the typesetting, block-cutting and printing processes before they are able to create their own books, in small editions of between 20-25 copies.
The BuchKinder-Werkstatt is open Monday to Friday from 3pm to 6pm and at other times by appointment. Please check opening times before visiting and full contact details can be found below.
Dr Otto Martin
Mombacher Str. 6, 55122 Mainz, Deutschland
Tel: (+49) 06131 – 32 99 99 5