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officina tinea?

“MOTTE Buchdruckwerkstatt” is the name of the community print shop where I learned typesetting and printing, from the age of 10 on. In the tradition of naming printing shops in Europe, and with a wink, this translates into “officina tinea” (I studied latin for 9 years). In English, it would read “The Moth’s print shop”.

MOTTE (moth) is the name of the local arts and community center in the part of Hamburg, Germany, where I grew up. It offered a variety of activities and workshops for the community, including a the print shop. I would go there in the evenings after school once or twice a week.

When I was 12 years old a Linotype 4b moved into the shop and I started to learn operating and fixing it. When I was about 16, I was allowed to use the printing presses, a hand fed Hohner gally platen and a Windmill. In 1997, as student work, I successfully put the Linotype Quadriga at the Museum der Arbeit in Hamburg into operation and demonstrated it for visitors at a few occasions, including TTS operation. Unfortunately, its operation turned out to be too complex for museum use, so it stands there unused.

After moving to Sweden in 2006, I didn’t touch any lead until 2022. That time, I discovered the Grafiska Museet in Helsingborg and immediately signed on as member of the association and volunteer. One year later I became a member if the board of trustees. I am working on getting a 1936 Intertype into better shape, it runs, but needs some love. And a I recently started a “remote” apprenticeship with Erich Hirsch at the Museum der Arbeit in Hamburg, learning their late model monotype with unit-adding. A lot of book reading and occasional visits.

You find my adventures on this website.