A Printing Press of One’s Own (En egen trykkpresse) is a practical examination of the relationship between art and technique, hand and spirit, thought and printing ink. The project came out of an interest in the printed medium in a digital age. Book printing has been the dominant technology for setting and mass reproducing of the printed word from when Gutenberg popularized the technique in the 1450s, and until well into the 20th century. Thon Knutsen set out to search for a professional position which allowed her to combine an artistic approach to typography and graphic form with her technical insight and historical knowledge of book printing. She found Virginia Woolf. The canonised modernist author and the feminist icon worked in parallel with both her writing as artistic practice and as typesetter and printer in her own private printing press. Through in-depth close reading of Woolf's authorship, seen through the first-hand experience as typesetter and printer, Thon Knutsen has found new ways to read Woolf, and a direction for her own artistic and research-based practice. Thon Knutsen has recreated the short story that Woolf printed in her debut, The Mark on the Wall, in its whole, but with a new aesthetic appearance. She has done this with a method that Thon Knutsen claims must have been used by Woolf; the thought and the writing must have been influenced by the experience of setting and printing as a pendulum between the spirit that writes and the hand that sets.


Ane Thon Knutsen is a Graphic Designer & Artist living and working in Oslo. She owns a private letterpress studio where she explores the wondrous possibilities of experimental printing with moveable type. She teaches at The Oslo National Academy of The Arts, does freelance lecturing, workshops and is head of communication at Fellesverkstedet. In June 2019 she defended her PhD A Printing Press of One’s Own.

Keywords (exposition): graphic design, typography, letterpress, typesetting, Virginia Woolf, The private press movement, modernism, feminism, self-publishing, literature, The Hogarth Press, artist books

Language: Norwegian

visit exposition

Visit the exposition in the database Research Catalogue.