Archive for August, 2012

I’m a little embarrassed to say it’s been nearly 12 months since we welcomed the new arrival to the family, yet have been silent on this matter since. The silence has been largely due to the fact there has been nothing to report for the vast majority of those 12 months.

Things started to move forward in May, however. Precipitated by a visit by T’s mechanically minded father, we progressed the replacement of the press’s 3-phase motor to a single phase motor appropriate for my domestic power supply. Needless to say, many powertools and spanners were purchased over the motor-change weekend, and there was plenty of father-son bonding time!

Heidleberg platen letterpress - motor change

Heidleberg platen letterpress - Changing the motor

Heidleberg platen letterpress - Still changing the motor

We took the next step in the journey on the weekend. T impressed me greatly by translating what he’s read from the original press operating manual into ‘action’, which resulted in a few tentative first prints.

We still have a loooong way to go to learn and master the nuances of this amazing machine (and the art of videography!), but if feels great to finally have a play and to see it in action.


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I took today off work to attend Craft and Design as a career, Craft Victoria’s professional development seminar held as part of the annual Craft Cubed festival. I really should take days away from my corporate desk job to immerse myself in the big wide world that exists outside Docklands more often!

The speakers at today’s event included such craft and design identities as Beci Orpin, Hello Sandwich and Alexi Freeman. I was struck by the humility of all of them; each spoke of themselves humbly, of many many unpaid projects, and expressed genuine surprise when people they consider to be much more accomplished have approached them to work on a collaborative project. The value of collaboration was a key theme that shone through most of the narratives, with a consistent observation that collaboration results in outcomes far greater than the sum of the parts.

I was particularly impressed by Patrick Pittman, editor of Dumbo Feather, who spoke with eloquence and passion. For those of you who are not aware, Dumbo Feather is a quarterly print magazine that profiles extraordinary people through interviews. The magazine’s name is taken from the story of Dumbo the elephant, whose ‘magic feather’ helped him gain the confidence to fly. Ultimately Dumbo learns to fly without his feather – but it’s the trigger that pushes him to prove his doubters wrong.

Today I learned that for those making a career in arts, craft and design, the ‘feather’ of success isn’t anything magic, but hard work, persistence and jumping in the deep end and ‘doing it’.

If anything, the magic feather is the talent and passion these people apply to what they love – very inspirational.

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