Join us for an unforgettable experience in Oxford, England, where you will blend artistic exploration with the charm and rich history of Oxford's cultural tapestry.

Dates:
Mar 16, 2024 - Mar 23, 2024

Levels: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced,
Workshop Fee: $1495
Workshop Duration: 1-week (Saturday-Saturday)
Workshop Location: Travel workshop
Class Size: 10

Spring in England - Oxford, England workshop with Richard Reitz Smith

Spring arrives early in England and on this book-art-oriented, destination workshop to Oxford, England, we will explore how pattern is an exciting, art-making tool. Oxford is a visual feast and spring patterns abound! Pattern is one of the most effective tools in an artist’s repertoire. It is the repetition of elements, especially a design made from repeated lines, shapes, or colors on a surface. As one of the standard design principles, the use of patterns is key to creating vibrant visual interest. This is true throughout all art forms: architecture, music, dance, photography, literature, and more.

Oxford, England local images with Richard Reitz Smith

Oxford, England workshop with Richard Reitz Smith

Oxford is a charming, ancient city established during Roman rule at the headwaters of the Thames River in the Cotswold Region northwest of London. The winding streets of Oxford are lined with gardens and architecture spanning many centuries. This historic city is made for walking (and we will do lots and lots of it). Beware there are limited ADA facilities in older European cities. This one is home to Oxford University (est. 1094) which is the second oldest institution of higher education and the world’s largest university press. Patterns are prevalent throughout the city: windows, stonework, carvings, etc.

Letterprss - Oxford, England workshop with Richard Reitz Smith

Left - Lizzie Wheeler, Middle - Landscape by Susan Wheeler, Right - City by Susan Wheeler
Oxford Printmakers Susan and Lizzie Wheeler will offer guidance and instruction as part of your workshop. Left – Lizzie Wheeler, Middle – Landscape by Susan Wheeler, Right – City by Susan Wheeler

Richard Reitz Smith (Maine Media Book Arts program chair) and Isobel Lewis (Oxford native and Book Artist), along with Richard Lawrence (Bodleian Library Master Printer), and (Mother and Daughter) Oxford Printmakers Susan and Lizzie Wheeler will be your guides and instructors.

The Bodleian Library is one of the oldest libraries in Europe, and in Britain is second in size only to the British Library. Together, the Bodleian Libraries hold over 13 million printed items and was first opened to scholars in 1602.
The Bodleian Library is one of the oldest libraries in Europe, and in Britain is second in size only to the British Library. Together, the Bodleian Libraries hold over 13 million printed items.

The Bodleian Library is one of the oldest libraries in Europe, and in Britain is second in size only to the British Library. Together, the Bodleian Libraries hold over 13 million printed items and was first opened to scholars in 1602.

Workshop attendees will have unique access and use of the Bodleian Library Press, a private tour of the Bodleian Library, one of the oldest in Europe (1602), as well as a meeting at the special collections library to review antique and modern takes on patterns in printed books and interesting book structures.

The Bodleian Library is one of the oldest libraries in Europe, and in Britain is second in size only to the British Library. Together, the Bodleian Libraries hold over 13 million printed items and was first opened to scholars in 1602.
the Bodleian Libraries were first opened to scholars in 1602.

The goal for the week is to have participants print, in addition to their own work to keep, enough of at least one page, but hopefully, two or more to share and have a collaborative book to bind at the end of the week for everyone to share a copy. You can personalize your own book with found ephemera, maps, and souvenirs from your time in Oxford by adding blank pages for journaling and scrapbooking.

No experience is necessary; all artists or want-to-be artists are welcome. Be sure to bring sturdy and comfortable shoes as Oxford is a walking town and the museums are vast. Our accommodations are near the city center about 10 to 20 minutes walk from most of the sites. That time will be worked into our schedules.

The workshop fee of $1495 (paid to Maine Media at registration) covers your time with the two Richards: Richard Lawrence, master letterpress printer at the Bodleian Letterpress, and Richard Reitz Smith, chair of the Maine Media Book Arts program for final binding. All workshop participants must book the local accommodation and tour package separately (below.)

Oxford is abound with historical architecture and scenery.
Oxford abounds with historical architecture and scenery.

Accommodation and Tour package

Accommodations are a separate fee from the workshop and are paid through the tour leaders. Please register for the workshop first through Maine Media.

Inquiries about room selections can be made by contacting trip co-leader Richard Smith at [email protected].  Isobel Lewis is an Oxford native and will be the other co-leader.

Accommodation fees

  • $2150 includes a double bed with a shared bath.
  • $2450 includes a double bed with ensuite bath.
  • $2750 includes a king bed with an ensuite bath. (limited to availability.)

Workshop attendees may bring a non-workshop companion to share a room for an additional $1225.  Please see the itinerary below.

Accommodation Options

Accommodation is on a first come first serve basis, you can choose your accommodations from:

The Jewel House, Richmond Street (private and shared bath options are available. Beds are Queens or double beds) with a communal kitchen and meeting space. This option is only for the Maine Media group.

Or

The Tower House, Ship Street (private and shared bath options are available, king bed upgrade is available, otherwise beds are doubles). Tea kettle in room.  Shared common area; this option may or may not have guests who are not with the Maine Media group.

The Oxford accommodations and tour rates are based on US Dollar to British Pound exchange rates at the time of initial offering. Local workshop tour organizer reserves the right to require additional supplements for any significant change in the foreign exchange rate.

By Pitt Rivers
By Pitt Rivers

Workshop attendees get the full tour package. Companion package options include shared rooms, listed tours, and included meals. The accommodation package fee includes entry and tours of the Pitt Rivers Museum and the Ashmolean Museum (including afternoon tea) along with a guided tour of Oxford. These are available to companions as well. See Below.

There will also be a trip to the countryside to visit the Wheeler Printmaking Studio to learn about reduction block printing with lunch and transportation included. This is only available for workshop attendees. For more details, see the itinerary below.

There will be a pre-trip Zoom meeting to review the itinerary, to meet fellow travelers, and include a presentation on “Visual Pattern” arranged at a mutually convenient time.

By William Morris

Itinerary

Day 1: Saturday, March 16

  • Plan to arrive at London Heathrow Airport, and travel just over an hour to Oxford via the public transport of your choice (online links will be provided.) Or choose the option to join a private group transit to Oxford at a small additional cost if there are enough takers. We will coordinate times prior to the arrival date but morning arrival is necessary to be included in the group transit. You are welcome to find your own transit to the townhouses (25 Richmond Street or 15 Ship Street, Oxford OX2 6HS, United Kingdom) Richard or Isobel will help to find your room so you can unpack and rest.
  • An afternoon neighborhood orientation of a brief walking tour to find nearby shops, restaurants, or buses. Pass out maps.
  • Welcome Fine Dinner for all attendees.

Day 2: Sunday, March 17

  • Coffee and pastries are provided at the Jewel House if desired.
  • Pitt Rivers Museum – the “Collection of Collections” / Private Tour and short presentation on pattern.
  • Lunch on your own.
  • Afternoon Oxford Walk – a private walking tour provided led by a registered Blue Guide.
  • William Morris/ Oxford Union, Christ Church, EvenSong.
  • Evenings are free to enjoy the city and the vibrant pubs.
  • Suggestions of concerts or theatre provided.

Day 3: Monday, March 18

  • Coffee and pastries are provided at the Jewel House if desired.
  • Morning – Bodleian Tour – space may be available for companions.
  • Lunch on your own.
  • Afternoon – Bodleian Special collections for workshop attendees.
  • Evenings are free to enjoy the city and the vibrant pubs.
  • Suggestions of concerts or theatre provided.

Day 4: Tuesday, March 19 

Coffee and pastries are provided at the Jewel House if desired.

____________________

For workshop attendees:

Half the group will visit the Bodleian Press for a private workshop with master printer Richard Lawrence. The other half will go to the English countryside studio in Radley for a private linocut studio tour of printmakers Susan and Lizzie Wheeler.

____________________

  • Evenings are free to enjoy the city and the vibrant pubs.
  • Suggestions of concerts or theatre provided.

Day 5: Wednesday, March 20

  • Coffee and pastries are provided at the Jewel House if desired.

____________________

For workshop attendees:

  • Switch locations from Wednesday.

____________________

  • Evenings are free to enjoy the city and the vibrant pubs.
  • Suggestions of concerts or theatre provided.

Day 6: Thursday, March 21

  • Coffee and pastries are provided at the Jewel House if desired.

____________________ 

For workshop attendees:

  • Demonstrations of endsheet solutions and binding options by Richard Reitz Smith (chair of the Maine Media Book Arts program) and Isobel Lewis (an Oxford native and English book artist).
  • Lunch Provided.
  • Evenings are free to enjoy the city and the vibrant pubs.
  • Suggestions of concerts or theatre provided.

Day 7: Friday, March 22

  • Coffee and pastries are provided at the Jewel House if desired.
  • Free Time to explore Oxford or continue working on your book.
  • Afternoon Ashmoleian Tour and Farewell Traditional Tea 
  • Evenings are free to enjoy the city and the vibrant pubs.
  • suggestions of concerts or theatre 

Day 8: Saturday, March 23

  • Coffee and pastries are provided at the Jewel House if desired.
  • If enough people elect the group transfer option (additional small fee) airport transit from Oxford will leave at a common time to be determined.
Bridge of Sighs, Oxford, England
Bridge of Sighs, Oxford, England

TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR TRAVEL WORKSHOPS
  • 1. Reservations & Payments
    • A deposit as indicated on the registration page is required to confirm your reservation for the workshop.  Final payment in full is due 45 days prior to the start date of your workshop unless stated differently in the course description.  Maine Media Workshops + College (“Maine Media”) reserves the right to cancel a reservation if full payment has not been received by the due date.
  • 2. Cancellations
  • 3. Basis of Rates
    • All prices are quoted in U.S. dollars; all payments must be made in U.S. dollars.
  • 4. Insurance
    • It is strongly advised that you purchase Trip Cancellation, Baggage, Emergency Medical Evacuation, and/or Accident and Sickness Insurance Protection. Camera equipment, computers, and baggage are carried entirely at the owner’s risk. Maine Media shall have no responsibility for any lost, damaged, or delayed property, or for an individual student’s medical needs, accidents, injuries, or illnesses. See our travel insurance recommendations here.
  • 5. Itinerary Changes
    • The itinerary for your workshop is subject to change without prior notification.
  • 6.  Passports and Visas
    • A valid passport is required for all international travel. You are required to notify Maine Media as to the nationality under which your passport is registered.  Participants are responsible for obtaining their passports and visas. To participate in the workshop, you must have a passport that is valid until at least six months after the date on which your trip is scheduled to be completed.
  • 7. Medical Issues
    • All participants must be in good health.   You must advise Maine Media of any health condition, physical condition, or emotional or mental condition that may require special attention or that may adversely impact the other participants in your workshop. All students are required to complete a “Waiver of Liability” form and submit it at the time of registration.  This document may be found on the course description page.
  • 8. Liability Waiver
    • Every participant is required to sign Maine Media’s Waiver of Liability before departure for their workshop.   Click here to download.
  • 9. Responsibility & Photography
    • To ensure a safe experience, you are required to obey local customs and be considerate when photographing people or sensitive locations.  The faculty member for your workshop has the right to expel any person from the workshop for behavior that is in violation of the law; that is disruptive, or that compromises the group’s safety or enjoyment.  No refunds will be made to any person expelled from a workshop. Maine Media shall have no obligation to pay any costs incurred by a person as a result of that person being expelled from a workshop.

Instructor: Richard Reitz Smith

Richard Reitz Smith is a letterpress and book artist who excels in marrying traditional techniques with technology and is the Book Arts Program Chair and Studio Manager at Maine Media. He is the owner of DoubleDoor Creative in Camden, ME. In 2015, Richard was the first Book Artist in Residence at Maine Media where he wrote, illustrated, printed, and bound a limited-edition abecedary of alliterative haiku. Richard received a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University in painting and illustration.

After working for three years developing products for Crayola and Liquitex, he returned to school and earned an MFA in graphic design (Tyler School of Art- Temple University). Then started a five-year tour of universities as an art and design professor which led him to New York City, where he taught at Pratt Institute and School of Visual Arts. While doing this, he freelanced as an illustrator and graphic designer for companies like The GAP, Macy's, American Craft Museum, Metlife, Pearson Education, and Scholastic. Then he took positions at Clicquot, Inc. and Clinique Cosmetics consecutively. For Clinique Cosmetics, he managed multi-million-dollar, international, seasonal product and promotional launches as the director of package design worldwide. For Clicquot, Inc. he was a one-person art department for the wine importer/promoter of Veuve Clicquot, Krug, Bouchard, and many other ultra-premium wines. It was in NYC, that he found and frequented The Center for Book Arts learning much about letterpress and the book as an art form.

Instructor: Isobel Lewis

Isobel Lewis is a book artist and printmaker who lives and works in North Wales. Isobel has an MA in graphic design and works as a book designer for several UK publishers. Isobel also makes prints and one-of-a-kind limited edition artist books such as ‘The Kelpie Press’. Isobel’s work reflects a love of typography and pattern, and is inspired by the uplands and coast of Wales woven with her quirky imagination! In 2017 Isobel was Book Artist in residence at Maine Media Workshops. Isobel has traveled extensively including spending ten years in Rockport Maine.

Examples of Isobel’s work can be found in public and private collections both in the UK and in the USA including The Bodleian Library of Oxford, The National Library of Scotland, and Edinburgh Central Library.