It's been a busy few months for us, although if you've visited this site more than once recently you'll know its not been because we've been printing! Or updating the website for that matter. In fact we seem to have been doing everything but…
At the end of last year we made the decision to move to a new home, a more fit-for-purpose space with enough room to make life a little easier. We then decided we should fill this new found space with more printing equipment and an even bigger press. As you do.
That bigger press is a 1965 US-built Vandercook SP-20 precision proofing press. Weighing in at over half a tonne and almost 2.5 meters in length, she's certainly a step up from the humble little Models we started with two years ago.
The repairing, refurbishing and setting up of the Vandercook is all down to the legend that is Basil Head – a proper proofing press engineer extraordinaire. Helping him … ok, mainly watching him meticulously bring our press back to full working order was a real pleasure: Bits and pieces that were missing, and presumed lost forever, slowly emerged from a range of small plastic bags; beautifully well used tools for every job were pulled from a slightly battered old briefcase masquerading as a toolbox; and a range of wonderfully engineered gauges and devices measured ridiculously small amounts for the fine tuning. Oh, and there was a bit of hitting things with a hammer too, engineering it seems isn't all delicate precision.
Basil working his magic
Pulling some of the first trial proofs on the newly restored press
Anyway, the new studio – in Bow Arts trust – is coming along nicely, things are taking shape, and, importantly, we're finally ready to start designing and printing again.
So as the smell of ink starts to replace the smell of WD-40 and paint, and the presses start to become more than ornaments again, we thought we dip our toes back into the digital side of things and finally write this post. Keep yours eyes out new work soon.