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Monday, December 1, 2014

Fluid Ink Summer 2014/15 look book greeting cards

HAPPY DECEMBER 1ST! Celebrate Christmas with our new range of greeting cards.  All available to view in our latest Summer Christmas 2014/15 look book :-) Click below to view (it may take a little second to load)

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Coastal watercolour ombre letterpress invitation

These elaborate invitations and suite were designed exclusively for the Perth Wedding upmarket back in May 2014. The them was modern Coastal - no starfish and shells here.  The final display saw a group of talented artists and products come together producing a feast for the eye (and bride as it were!)


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Floral baby girl birth announcement

Beautiful sweet and elegant.  
I love how parents can describe their children and the style of a birth announcement can reflect their personality. How perfectly sweet is this one?!

100 cotton rag paper 
Cranes Lettra Pearl white
2 colour - peach blush and sepia
Photo printed separately and post affixed

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Variation on a theme.

These three invitations are very similar, but all have been customised to match the budget and theme of each wedding. They are 'variations on a theme'.

1. A classic rose garden

 2. Classic rose garden with Modern text

3. Classic Peony

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Northbridge Central Tafe Letterpress class

A few ladies of letterpress ;-)

I was extremely fortunate to win a scholarship from The Ladies of Letterpress, to attend a 5 week letterpress course at  Central Tafe, Northbridge Perth Western Australia, through their Slice short creative course programme.

Every Wednesday evening for 5 weeks, I was lucky enough to indulge in a few hours of creative typesetting the 'old school' way. Handling vintage Hamilton wood type some as big as 20cm with the most beautiful patina, locking them up, coating them in oil based inks and feeding them into a flat bed letterpress proofing press printer, felt like an extravagant indulgence.

Being able to work with moveable type that I wouldn't otherwise have access to, and using proofing presses that I haven't worked with in the past was a real treat.

Having an expert teacher like Bradley (36+ years industry experience) was also invaluable.  There were so many little tips and hints that Bradley openly and encouragingly shared. Some basic practices that my own training (being self taught) had skipped over, such as using the type rule to measure the correct length of furniture, how the height of all type is uniformed and in measurable units that match up with furniture heights and widths so that a neat lock up is achievable.  Even the 'quick' method to finding the centre of the paper or print.

Of course, the added bonus was to mix with a group of other letterpress enthusiasts who shared a love of woodtype, lock up, oily inks and greasy machines.

The collection of vintage presses included Hamilton wood type, 2 hot foil presses, 3 proofing presses, 2 hand presses including a beautiful (and massive) Improved highly ornamented Columbian press, as well as several other authentic letterpress tools of the trade - and then some!


Please indulge me as I 'show off' the fruits of my labour, and join me in drooling over the amazing images very close to my heart. (course details at the end of the post)

The presses
Hamilton wood type cabinets in Perth Australia
Oh wood type!
Letterpress tools
My fun prints
A little bit of Australia :-)
Bradley in his studio


Letterpress: Introduction to Artisan Printing

Experience a traditional and beautiful art form
This process is centuries old and produces a tactile impression into paper.
Letterpress has a 500 year old history and was commonly used until the mid 20th century. Central Institute of Technology has an excellent facility with traditional printing presses, equipment and one of the largest collections of typefaces in Western Australia. Small groups will be guided through the Letterpress process which involves composing and locking movable type into the bed of a press, inking it and pressing paper against it to form an impression. You will be able to experiment and create unique artistic prints.
Cost: $345
Runs: 5 Wednesdays, 5.30 - 8pm
Where: 12 Aberdeen Street, Northbridge
Next Course Starts: 30 July
Enrolments Open: 17 June
Topics covered in the course includes:
  • How to select and compose a variety of styles and sizes of Letterpress typefaces.
  • Learn how to lock up, position and prepare a Letterpress form ready for printing.
  • Make ready and print from a Letterpress form using a range of Letterpress Proofing Presses.
  • Design, create and print your own Letterpress product using a selection of printing inks. Mix and match inks to create your own colour choice.
  • How to select and compose a variety of styles and sizes of Letterpress typefaces.
  • Learn how to lock up, position and prepare a Letterpress forme ready for printing.
  • Make ready and print from a Letterpress forme using a range of Letterpress Proofing Presses.
  • Design, create and print your own Letterpress product using a selection of printing inks. Mix and match inks to create your own colour choices.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

DIY Washi tape dispenser holder caddy

Something different today! A little bit of FIGJAM.

It came to me while I was trying to wrap a gift and make dinner at the same time.. Stay with me, it will make sense!

Born out of frustration mixed with a little procrastination (frustprastication?) I thought it splendid enough to share with my fellow Washi tape lovers. It should be noted that this was whipped up while I was cooking so 10 mins - tops (the decorating time is on top of this). I also used the easiest and most accessible things I could find - I hate having a brain wave and then having to make a trip to the hardware.
This is my 'before' shot, messy, always struggling to find the end of the tape and overflowing, until...
What you will need:
  • A plastic aluminium foil container/dispenser without the aluminium foil (see the cooking connection now?) - this one was purchased at Coles for around $5. - The genius here, is that the plastic caddy already has serrated teeth intended to cut the aluminium foil but do a rather good job at cutting the soft washi tape as well!
  • A wire coat hanger
  • Some pliers/wire cutters for cutting and bending the wire
  • Spray paint (optional)
  1. Cut the lid off the dispenser (you can keep it on if you like but I think the way the colours of the tape all lined up looks, is pretty!)
  2. If you are going to spray paint it, do it now or you can skip this step, put it all together and spray it later or just leave it and decorate with washi tape!
  3. Measure the length of the plastic dispenser and add an extra 3cm
  4. Using the long straight edge of the coat hanger, cut it to length
  5. Poke a small hole in the middle of both sides of the dispenser (I used the tip of my pliers)
  6. Thread the wire through both holes -you want the fit to be tight so the wire isn't loose and falls out.
  7. On one end, bend the wire around on itself to form a hook or loop so you can grip and pull it in and out to load the tape. This also locks it a little and makes the end blunt.
  8. Pull the wire back out and put all of your tape in. Be sure to have the rolls facing the right way so the tape rolls over the top and can be ripped off on the dispensers teeth. I un-rolled a little tape on each and stuck them each down.
  9. Re-thread the wire through all the rolls of tape and cut the end of the wire so that it pokes out around 1cm
  10. Smile smugly at your marvellous organising tool!
Poke a hole in the sides
Hook the end of the wire around To lock
Sit all the rolls in the caddy and thread the wire through
Washi tape neat and tidy!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Letterpress birth announcement for a baby boy

Our first letterpress birth announcement for a baby boy!
A very special birth announcement/ baby thank you card, with custom designed envelope liner.
Welcome into the world Lukas!

SIZE: 110X155mm
PAPER: 300gsm 100% cotton rag
COLOUR: 1 colour
OTHER: Chrystal archive photo developed image, glued onto printed announcement/ thank you card
ENVELOPE: C6 with digitally printed envelope insert

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Making ready in letterpress

The process of making ready, is one of the most time consuming parts of printing in letterpress.  It means printing off several proofs and ensuring all lines of text have the same depth of impression as well as being inked with the same fine layer of ink upon the relief surface of the text or image.

The first print off the press is very rarely (I don't think its ever happened to me!) perfect.
The above image is a first print. Its smudgy due to too much ink, but you can see that some lines have more smudging than others.  Since my press is 100+ years old, the rails have been worn down and I have taped them up but they have been worn unevenly, so I have had to tape them unevenly too! It has taken me around 1 year to get them taped so that they are (nearly) even!

This image shows the un eveness of the inking on one of the lines. The reason for this is the un-evenly worn rails at this point. Beneath the script text, the rollers jump in closer, onto the relief of the text and distribute ink to the sides of the text not just the very top of the text as is required.

Not enough impression on the first 3 lines of this proof, more paper packing is needed behind the print to raise it up so each line is pushed in evenly.

An example of a make ready sheet.  You can see the different layers that have been built up sometimes one word or letter at a time. This sheet is placed beneath the top sheet or tympan on the platen and sits beneath each hand fed piece of paper raising each line to the right level.

The aim of a perfect print is to get the ink sitting at the base of the valley that has been created by the text or image pushing into the paper, and not have any ink transferred to the walls of the valley.  Let me point out that back in the days when these printers were used as the industry standard of printing, anything other than the ink sitting just on top of the paper (the ink 'kissing' the paper) was deemed poor craftsmanship, but of course today, an impression is the key!

In order to obtain a perfect print and start the print run, I may need to pull 1- 5 proofs and adjust each time, sometimes a 15-45 minute process depending on 'The Admiral's' mood!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Yellow and silver spring save the date invitation

This is a very simple design.  I experimented with the colour of the doily and we just couldn't go past the sunny yellow - although it does still look mighty sweet all in silver too!

A6 oversize card - 110x155mm
300gsm cotton rag paper
2 colours - light silver and bright yellow
C6 envelope, silver with yellow liner