Posts Tagged ‘letterpress’



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Vanessa and Jason were married on a sunny day in January under a gigantic oak tree on a beautiful estate in Tasmania.

The ceremony was followed by a garden party sporting champagne, croquet and quoits. The bride recited a poem she wrote about their love, which left most guests misty eyed. The groom made an amazing spoof music video that paid homage to his new bride, which also left guests with tears (of laughter).

They’re a pretty amazing couple!


V&J blog02

V&J blog03

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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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Here’s a little bit about the process that went into making these wedding invitations recently.

I’ll go into more detail around the concept next-time; today I’d like to focus on the rather extended design and construction process, which included: copy writing; layout and design of body text and graphic content; (digital) printing of inner pages; letterpress printing of cover; hand-sewing to stitch binding; book-press time to flatten booklets; and, finally, manual trimming of inner pages.

Times that effort by nearly 100 booklets!

Here’s the finished product, plus a few snaps of the journey taken…

The finished product

Sew much work yet to go!Out of the book press - flat as a pancake!

TTrimmed & terrific!I’m still tossing up ideas of how to achieve a complemtary look for wedding church booklets, but through a slightly more expeditious process…. Ideas, anyone?

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So today I was lucky enough to get a day off work. I had grand plans for what I would acheive, namely update my Etsy shop with the bits and bobs I’ve been working on lately.

Eight, (yes 8!) hours later, I am finally ready to sit down with a glass of wine and relax. Taking product pictures all day, setting up shop profiles etc has been just about as taxing as a day in the office!

Hopefully I will retain some of the ‘lessons learned’, and will be more efficient at photography in future (which will mean I don’t need to re-take a certain angle 5 times to get it right!).

Meanwhile – please do check out my Etsy shop – chock-a-block full of new goodies!

Today, the camera was my best friend!

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This is a little belated, but I’ve been meaning to post a few pics of the letterpress studio I’ve set up since arriving back home in Oz.

This pic sums up the studio space: letterpress cabinet housing my loose type collection, and shelves for furniture are set against the wall. Most other essential supplies (letterpress related or otherwise) are stored underneath the collections of coffee tables I’ve pushed together in lieu of a continuous work bench. One day, I tell myself, we’ll get a custom bench made with excellent storage built in!


(Can you tell I’ve been playing with some iPad photo app with these pics??!)

The beam set in the wall provides a convenient magnetic board for pinning inspiration. To the left is my book press, (a birthday present from T), and further shelves storing paper, envelope, cello bag and twine supplies.

The Adana sits on the sturdiest table / bench we have at the right height for me to work.


I love the silhouette of the Adana in this picture, looking out towards our balcony, through which lots of natural light floods my work space. If you look carefully, you’ll see a couple of pieces of paper stuck to the balcony walls.

These are pizza menus written by T for an evening with friends the night before I took the studio shots. It would be remiss of me not to include a snap one of the highlights from that evening (fresh fig, honey and goat’s cheese pizza. Devine.)

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Like many (crafty) youngsters in the 1980s and 90s, my mother introduced me to the fine art of cross-stitch, which I attempted once or twice with little patience and rare satisfaction. Partially complete cross-stitch swatches from my youth still languish in my sewing basket today!

I was recently introduced to blackwork, which is simple embroidery using black thread, through Sonia Lucano’s book, Made In France – Blackwork. I was immediately captivated by the possibilities of this cousin of cross-stitch, the book’s blurb hints at the goodness inside: “You’ll be seduced by this timeless and elegant form of embriodery.” Indeed I was.

A far cry from the fusty cross-stitch patterns of the past, Blackwork is full of contemporary inspiration and designs that translate effortlessly into the stylish home. (Okay, I am yet to embroider a tea-towel, but it’s not far off!).

PLUS I was curious to explore the mash-up of blackwork and letterpress. I finally got my chance to mash-it when my friend Ingrid had her first baby, beautiful Elise Grace, last month. I designed this card and matching envelope based on some of the themes in Blackwork, and was very pleased with the results.

Perhaps it will be my duty to introduce Elise to cross-stitch (or preferably blackwork!!) one day…..

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