Larry Thompson

Larry Thompson grew up in Ottawa and remembers pulling his first printing proof at age sixteen in a high school graphic arts course. He later graduated from Carleton University with an honours degree in English.

Thompson’s desire to be a writer came to the fore in the 1990s, and continues today, as he is a self-employed freelancer and editor. He specializes in writing on the business side of material heritage, becoming editor for ten years of The Upper Canadian, the Canadian antiques trade magazine.

It took twenty-five years before Thompson found his way back to printmaking, graphic design and letterpress printing. In 2005 he bought a Vandercook proofing press, a quantity of lead type and established Greyweathers Press in Merrickville, Ontario.

Greyweathers is based on a love of beautiful books, and features elegant typefaces arranged on a well-proportioned page, graphic linocuts, wood cuts and wood engravings, and handmade bindings. Larry finds inspiration in a wide range of literature, from classical epics, medieval legend and Romantic poets to fantasy and comic books. Some of the press’s notable works include Kubla Khan (2006), Tenebrismo: Ten Poems (2007) and Tintern Abbey (2012).

I was curious to know how Thompson became a fine press printer, engraver and binder, beyond his initial exposure in high school. He is mostly self taught, but admits to taking a weekend workshop from Margaret Lock, which was ‘enough to point me in the right direction’. Thompson watched and acquired the work of Aliquando, Barbarian and Locks’ Press, and studied William Morris, typography, design and printing practise. As for wood engraving, he looks to the works of Bates, Brett, Moser, Stein and Walker for inspiration, as well as historical engravers such as Bewick.

The Devil's Artisan would like to acknowledge the generous financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council.

Larry Thompson Magnify

Larry Thompson

Credit: Don McLeod