On Saturday my dad held a course in »manual typesetting«. He is a gifted typographer who has already won awards for his fine work. After working in Vienna for several years, he decided to start his own business - in our cellar. The compartment he uses in our cellar doesn't look like a cellar at all anymore, though. He built it into a rather pretty little office - complete with a vast amount of letter cases filled with thousands of letters, a printing machine from the 1960s and a lot of books. Of course, nowadays most of the work he does involves a computer, so an Apple Computer graces his desk. Besides that he surrounds himself with the pictures of Aldus Manutius (a famous printer and publisher) and Claude Garamond (one of the leading type-designers of his time), among others.
The course lasted one day (from 9am to 7pm). In the morning my dad explained a little bit about the general history of typography, his own experiences and showed us the basics to typeset a short text he selected.
After that, we got started. We typeset the text and printed it in the afternoon. The process of putting one letter to the next by hand is amazingly calming and I greatly enjoyed it.