THE STUDIO PRESSES
HILDA – circa 1960
Letterpress, Born in Germany
We fell in love with Hilda the day we met her! A gorgeous hunk of metal and grease that we knew had the most amazing history. After converting to single phase motor and giving her a clean-up, we were ready to see what she could do. After a while of getting to know Hilda, we learnt her personality, special noises and the way she ticks. Hilda is the main press we work with.
PRESTON – circa 1890
Foil press, Born in London
Preston traveled by road from Victoria, Australia which was the longest three days of anticipation. These machines are quite rare to find and we were lucky enough to find this gem. They have so much history and I can only imagine what stories they would tell. It was mainly old book covers and spines that he was used for but these days Preston heats and presses foils onto paper.
CHANDLER – circa 1928
Letterpress, Born in America
Our first love that travelled from Canberra, the press who started it all. Chandler runs on love, and has no motor, just a foot treadle to make him go. We never tire of his noises and its music to our ears. Each sheet of paper is handfed one sheet at a time, one colour at a time. Chandler is semi-retired, printing our small bespoke tags and cards. A stunning piece of history.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN
Letterpress is such a beautiful form of printing that no other printing technique can replicate. One that dates back to the 15th century where a raised surface is inked and then pressed onto papers to create an impression. An impression that you can see and feel. For hundreds of years, letterpress has been the most common form of printing, but one which requires patience and is a true artform by true artisans. In the last century, modernised printing had taken over and sadly the craft of letterpress was almost lost.
Today we enjoy keeping the history alive with three antique printing presses in our studio with over 162 years’ experience between them. We have a whole lot of passion, dedication and determination to learn the craft and create stunning pieces of stationery. For each of our letterpress projects, we use modern software to create your custom artwork, arrange special polymer printing plates and then our printing press is set up with rubber rollers and hand mixed inks. Each sheet of cotton paper is fed into the press. One colour, one printing plate at a time.
Foil printing is where metallic foils, such as golds, coppers, and silvers are pressed using a metal printing plate mixed with heat, pressure and paper. Preston is our foil press and each sheet of paper is fed onto the base and a lever is pulled down to sandwich the foil between the metal printing plate and the paper, with the right amount of pressure and time. This technique requires the knowledge of using the right type of foil, with the right type of paper for that type of design.
Each sheet is carefully pressed at a time, allowing us to check foil adhesion carefully and make sure the quality is at its best.
Two special printing plates are carefully set in out 1890’s press. One plate set at the base which has the artwork raised, the other printing plate above with the same artwork engraved, and the paper is positioned in between these two plates, hand pressed one sheet at a time, creating a raised effect on the paper.
To add some colour to your design, such as flowers, leaves, or if you are looking for a cost effective printing method, we have several professional photographic printers in our studio that use high quality ultra-chrome inks, giving a brilliant bespoke character, very different from commercial brochure printing.
The printed design attains a flawless matt “watercolour” nature, while keeping a crisp and clean finish.
Graphic printing may be mixed with other printing techniques.