Saturday, 10 November 2012

Elemental Artspace Show by Dennis Wild

A small show of Photogravure.

Elemental Emu Bay Road Deloraine

I’ve been making a small number of Gravures over the years and I’ve never seen them in a single solo show.  So when the opportunity came up to show in a nearby town I jumped at it. Elemental Artspace in Deloraine Tasmania has a small gallery especially suited to small works of art. The problem I always had with these works was that galleries don’t get enough commission on a sale of say $350 when a reasonable sized painting occupying the same space could sell for $1 - 6000 with a lot more commission going to the gallery. Galleries often take 40% so after framing my little photogravures weren’t all that profitable.
Elemental is full of interesting hand works - clothing, jewellery, painting, glass, candles, textiles, quilts, and prints,  etc and it will go very well as business. So if your looking for good work by a Tasmanian artist head for Elemental in Deloraine and see a good Photogravure show as well. My prints are very reasonable at $350 in matts. Deloraine has a good framer who will do a good job for you. These are small prints - the image area is around 125 x 185mm in size. The show will be there for 5 weeks.

A small card about gravure

They are rich in appearance as a gravure is and nothing like a traditional photograph made in a darkroom or an inkjet print where a machine sprays pigment on paper.
Generally I print for a day and then number what I have rarely more than 20.
 Photogravure comes up often in the history of photography. Invented in the 1870’s as a way of making beautiful (as opposed to photomechanical halftone prints) repeatable pictures. Look for Peter Emerson, (around 1885 - 95) Paul Strand and many others.
While you are browsing around have a look at the small portrait of me by Robyn Mitchell (a friend of mine) and one of the few photographers I know who experimented in Albumen printing. Its the best portrait I have of myself. Thanks to Robyn for gifting it to me.
Jo was an amazing help come the day! framing too! thanks Jo
 I decided that a card printed Letterpress would be nice companion to the show. Most people are unfamiliar with these kinds of prints, so a card could be an informative keepsake and a nice small project. I decided on text only, in a few colours and printed on a hand platen. Centaur was used for all the setting - 12pt text, 20 point Museum Caps (Dale guild Foundry) and 42 point Monotype from M&H foundry. It ended up being two sides and four colours. Somewhat 1950’s was the look, using some vintage card I had tucked away. So if you visit make sure to ask for a card or two. On the card reverse there is an explanation of the process. Its not an advertisement its just a keepsake.
It has a nice feel about this space and it does the work justice

PhotoGravure Prints

When Photoshop was first released I bought a copy - the first for northern Tasmania. It ran only on Macs and we knew each other! All desktop publishing was Mac and at the college where I started teaching I began agitating for a studio of Macs. I could see that photography was going to be digital and I pushed for a radical approach to training. I wanted for once to have training in a leading position. We started in a small way and by 1996 we had scanners printers and some 20 computers. It was the political fight of my life as the Windows crowd were quite beside themselves with anger at having to compete for funds with wacko artists using Macs.  We had finally broken through but the opposition was still there in 2005 despite the fact that they had lost most of their training to private training providers.

We ran all the industry standard software and our graduates mainly drifted towards publishing because photography really didn’t get good cameras or printers until the turn of the century. After that, I had trouble justifying the darkroom even though students generally preferred darkroom work over digital. 

 I was beginning to feel the same way. I noticed that digital could make really good pieces of film and these negatives allowed a photographer to work in many of the “obsolete” processes like Cyanotype, Albumen, Brown printing,  Dichromate (gum printing). These are all contact processes needing film the size of the final print, and sheet film disappeared as the printing industry that used it changed completely. Inkjet is the replacement and is very flexible.
For me though, I became interested in Photogravure. Firstly it was copper plate using a sensitised transfer sheet. This is the traditional 19th century method and it turned out to be fraught with problems and very unsafe. My darkroom despite all my safety precautions began to show stains from the Ferric Chloride etch - dangerous stuff. I wore apron, visor, and gloves but I began to feel very wary of this process. I stubbornly stayed with it until I had a print in my hand and quietly tried something else. 

 Photopolymer is a letterpress plate material that will make a gravure plate when worked with a film positive. It processes in water. Perfect! I had plenty plate material and soon I was making good prints. Its not without its moments though. It is actually quite tricky. A gravure attempts to be a continuous toned print emulating grain in which printing ink resides. Its an intaglio printing process and a “mezzotint screen exposure introduces the grain. A balance has to be achieved between the first screen exposure and then the main exposure. The plate material has to be fresh and the plate is prone to marking if its not finished cleanly and post exposed to harden it.
Once you have a good plate they are a joy to print and if you work hard it is possible to make about 15 prints a day!
Choice of colour is user driven and not determined by the process. Its just a matter of mixing an ink in enough quantity to edition. Same with paper. I like Fabriano Rosapina, also a good Letterpress paper.  gravure fits in with my love of Letterpress, Photography, and playing with my hands and brain! Making stuff!

 I love making and converting bits and pieces. I built this vacuum frame out of a homemade copy stand a vacuum lid off a platemaker and a vacuum pump off a process camera. Works well! I've never owned a shop bought exposure unit.

exposure unit

The press is small (A2) but does a great job

Photopolymer can be hard to "read" because of its colour

Monday, 10 September 2012

Mouse Picture

Started up the Heidelberg Platen a few days back and heard an odd sound. I stopped to investigate and found an extremely thin mouse on the inside of the variable speed pulley. It seems he decided to have a sleep inside the pulley housing. Bad place. Now this mouse has contributed to the art production in the studio.

Artists aren't Dancing Bears!

Here at last is our final letterpress protest piece - Don’t be a Dancing Bear! Its a linocut, mixed with type and printed on a Chandler and Price Platen press. Joanne cut the lino and it’s a very lively looking bear.
Why is it that those of us who choose to work as visual artists are being used as a largely unpaid labour force. It seems that visual artists are being expected to work as a form of public spectacle in community arts stunts for very little personal benefit. It seems that promoters and money is the reason for this stuation. Artist as a market commodity. There exists a core of people who have learnt to siphon off public arts money - which doesn’t end up helping artists.
In the 80’s and 90’s we operated without this layer of bureaucracy. For about a decade we were members of an art cooperative called battery art co-op with a membership of over 40. We organised shows of work in different cities of painting, photography, printmaking jewellery, sculpture, fibre, drawing. We did everything co operatively.
We operated a weekly life drawing class which raised money, and raised money from sales of work, tutoring, and entry fees for artists submitting work for show. We applied for and administered any grant money ourselves. At no time did we need directors, promoters etc. Our shows were democratic and not curated. In our nearest city, there was a gallery space which ran for years as a co-op showing members work monthly. It ran by membership meetings. In our local town we had a Co-op of working artists in established studios called Deloraine Art and Craft Professionals. This was a loose collaboration aimed at group shows and professional discussion. No Directors here either.
Personally I haven’t been involved in funded projects for many years but when I did, I applied, administered and acquitted all monies, and managed the project myself. Its not hard.
The rot set in with public money. Some who felt they could capture arts money began using regional arts groups as a base to set themselves in motion as promoters. Shop front windows are hardly the place to put artworks that is sensitive to heat and light. This happened to me twice and then I began to get angry about being told I was not community minded enough because I had protested about the running of this “event”. Our local arts group actually moved to protect the promoters interests and not artists! As far as I know none of these people are art practitioners.
So we are saying that artists who contribute work to these types of events are being dealt a very poor hand indeed.
The state government Arts minister and the federal government’s  ‘Australia Council’ should move to close off this type of activity. Arts money should go totally to practitioners. The history of artists organising themselves as I have outlined above shows that artists can easily manage themselves and don’t need the community arts circus. This is the United Nations year of co-operatives. lets support that initiative! The best place to start is in the art schools. Currently the business training is aimed at the artist as sole trader. There should be a broader scope of training in co operatives and collective self management.
Artists aren’t dancing bears. A fair go for artists!

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Ludlow Land!

Howard looks a little worried. He wasn't the only one.
Its amazing that it all really runs off a powered camshaft. Single phased power and water cooled.
For years we have worked with hand set type and for the last few years we have been building up our font range. Now though, we have been given a Ludlow line caster which is said to be a simple way of casting lines from brass matrices. They were used throughout the trade especially where scripts were used and large letter sizes. Social printing of all sorts, advertising, and headlines were all easily taken care of by this machine. There is no keyboard like a Linotype or Monocaster, the work is set on a "stick", by hand, right reading. This is then pushed into the machine and locked, the casting cycle is commenced, ending with a line popping out on completion. 
My friend and fellow printer, Howard, drove this over in is utility and we spent a day sweating and straining to get it down some planks and into position. It weighs in at about 1400lbs old measure. I don't think I have ever moved such an obstinate beast! I'ved moved presses guillotines Linotypes, and Monocasters but nothing compared to this difficult move. Plus, I'm getting older and a bit slower! At one point we were using a winch anchored to a large guillotine in the studio only to find the guillotine was moving not the caster. Some rearranging of anchor points was organised and finally it was moving. most the weight is in the top and being cast it cant be levered safely. Normally I use rollers but someone had used a type of pallet that didn't have a smooth underside so that made life hard.
It did come with many spares and tools and lots of different sticks and fonts in two cabinets. There is also another machine for buffing the lines called a supersurfacer. Luckily for me there is also a couple of manuals and font books. I say this because I have never had any experience with Ludlow. We had them when I was in industry but compositors used them - I only watched!
Stay tuned! Casting is not far off.

These are the fonts of matrices and spares. Some beautiful retro scripts

Getting it off the pallet was a very tricky operation. It wouldn't survive being dropped.

In its final position and soon to be operational.
A doorway had to be widened to fit it

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Hook Rug Kits

Joanne does this great job of organising small groups of very keen hook ruggers. They meet once a month and there is a link on this blog to hers which will tell you more than I can.  She has made some kits for sale though, that you should know about. $40 and the wool is rare carpet wool (the factory as closed unfortunately), you also get mesh and a tool. Go to Hook Rug revolution for more details!

Sebring Sprite

My friend Jay dropped by a month or so ago to show me his Austin Healey Sebring Sprite. The Sebring  was built in the late 50's for the Sebring Race in Florida and its hasn't got all that much in common with the production car. A heavily worked engine of about 1275cc and a huge Weber side draft carbie. No doubt a cam too. Lots of light body panels. Jay is a fan of primitive cameras too, so we set up a couple of pinhole exposures. Of course we drove it too and it really goes well. I had a standard Austin healey back in the 60's (also bright red) and they were a conservative car by todays standards and really quite primitive and FUN. But what a great drive. If you were pushing it you needed to be thinking! Mine maxed out at about 95-100 and it felt like it. This one has a hard top mine was soft. It felt like being in a incredibly fast shopping trolley. Being very small it clawed around corners amazingly well. Great Joy!! I just wish someone still made basic little quick cars without all the airbag and plastic rubbish.

What more would you want

Don't Be A Dancing Bear

Some rough drawings heading towards linocut stage

  Back in the 80’s and 90’s we used to do, and enjoy community arts projects. We would chase funding, run projects and then acquit the funding for the auditors. Pretty simple, and we got some regular pay for a while doing what we love to do - Art! Not so easy now. Often a director, curator, events manager, etc will soak up the money and you will be left with glib lines about how its good for the community etc, etc.  Working for a big nothing. This is a level of bureaucracy that has inserted itself between the art funding bodies and the artist.    Never stand between an administrator and a bucket of money, something I learned early as a college art teacher. The last person to get funded is the person at the edge - be it teachers, health workers, or artists. The middle soaks it up.
  I fell for this twice (putting work into “community arts” events locally) - never got more than a photocopy label, not even PR, or a web/media publicity plug, and then found out this was a publicly funded event.  I may have been less angry if everybody was in the same boat as volunteers but I felt completely ripped off.
  When I complained to our local arts committee I was treated to a display of complete rudeness from people who are not even professionally linked to arts - having made their collective living elsewhere and dabbling for a bit of a social life. Small towns!!
Don’t you just love working for nothing! We wouldn’t want wealth to spoil artistic imagination would we? Are artists just Dancing Bears?
  Seriously though, this kind of behaviour is not isolated. Its going on all over Australia. Its time to demand a fair go for artists. The National Association of Visual Artists is the peak advocacy body for artists and it is mounting a national campaign collecting signatures to push for paid fees for participation or use of their work. Artists need to reclaim control over their career in the culture of Australia.
  When you are thinking of any art event ask to see the funding sources. Ask about fees for services and use of work. If its not fair don’t do it. Remember something done for costs or free is actually being done at a loss. Intangibles don't pay the rent. In particular too, find out about publicity etc - just what are you getting for your involvement. Remember too that someones political connections to liberal or green causes doesn’t mean they will give you any better or fairer treatment.
  I was once asked to quote for printing (by offset) a very large run of leaflets - the paper for which had to be sourced from pulp processed in Sweden from regrowth pine. I asked what side of the hill should the trees have come from. At that point I bailed out but I did get asked to print by these groups for costs. That is, cost of materials but not my time! In other words Kodak got paid, paper companies paid, plate, ink and consumable suppliers paid but not the local monkey on the press handle. You can imagine what I said!
  We will be producing some campaign cards by Letterpress but you can help signing NAVA'S petition : or http: //

The Mitre Cutter


   Another nice piece of equipment comes ‘home’! 
  This little hand, food, and occasionally small levels of alcohol operated machine will give us the ability to cut bevel edges so that boxes can be constructed around areas of type. Now, I don’t know how well this really happens. It has been said that prefect boxes of rules can only be made by using a block/plates. This means the rule is made in software these days. But I like the idea of printing using hand fitted rules that are slightly imperfect. Getting rules made in the first place will mean heavy packages from the US!
   It’s a really well build piece and after a bit of oil and some rubbing was working in top condition again! There is one about 30 kms from where we live, but no luck in trying to get it - so this one came from Idiana US  (I think). Shipping was twice the value of the machine. I love working with traditional ornaments and applying rules is a nice way of finishing a design. American industrial design in the early 20th century often looks clunky and over size casts but then when in use you find all the accuracy you need. It certainly works because here it still is maybe a century later.
  Still, its here no so away we go! I’m hoping to have a model small shop circa 50’s-60’s. I think that soon we will have a Ludlow machine ( a type castor) which will make our studio close to perfect. So there!

The scale on the straightedge is for rule length and the outer curved settings are for the number of sides (moving the cutting bevel).

Hard to find!

 The block of metal is a machined .918 reference to zero the device

 You can measure well into the block. A standard micrometer can only deal with edges

At lasting impressions we are still building our equipment list and supplies like type and paper. We use Van Son inks and slowly we are building the supplies as well. Occasionally I pick up a nice piece of equipment on eBay. But a warning - just go for Buy Now offers. Auctions are not true auctions on eBay - people use software to “snipe’ your bid in the last 5 seconds so that you can’t respond. Be warned! Nevertheless I always look at EBay for nice pieces of equipment. I did get this beauty recently.
 Type high gauges were prevalent in industry because they gave us the ability to have a rugged accurate micrometer in the press room. We use them because they can measure into the centre of a block (say), or various sheets of paper. Very handy, and much more useful than a simple micrometer or the newer electronic version, which can only measure in from edges. Letterpress works with the magic .918 (type high). Rollers are set to this height as are the platen packing surfaces. This device gives a a easy to use way of measuring that doesn’t depend on batteries. I have to leave my veneer gauge in the sun and let it warm up before using it to measure - but is it really?
 These don’t come up for sale very often but if your interest is in Letterpress try and get one. Another good example of German post war engineering I’d say. They generally turned up in any shop that had Swedish or German presses and they were the basis of quality control. You can measure paper thickness, measure blocks, type, etc, and underlay to get a level, perfect, set up.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Thanks John !

A few oiling points on this side!

An amazing booklet has been forwarded on by my friend John Lamp who is very able supporter of printing despite having a shocking back, not helped by my constant collecting of presses and bits and pieces over the years. He thought it would be interesting, but didn't realise that I had worked on these presses back in the 60's and early 70's. Luckily for John he relocated to Geelong and so he isn't rostered onto the moving team for the Ludlow moving! And these giants have been scrapped, although I was offered one if I could move it!
This is the biggest sheet fed Letterpress machine that I worked on. Starting out as a young probationary apprentice loading paper and oiling and watching each sheet delivered for 'spaces up' or running out of ink etc. Years later I worked one and then in 1984 Jo and I visited the printery on our honeymoon and saw the same press on its last week of its life. The last of 5 it was to be broken up. The Meihle Perfector was the mainstay of the government Printing Office in NSW (the largest in the southern hemisphere), and they ran night and day for four decades. There was also a 'Meihle Two Colour' - Similar but different! Two beds, two inking units and two cylinders. The sheet reversed for backup on the second cylinder but unfortunately because the backup was done wet it was not good on coated stocks and often looked slurry on any paper. The presses didn't register all that well either. They were great for printing Hansard, Bills and Acts for Parliament and were revered for their reliability. I couldn't handle the noise and it made me dream of being a hippy!! Notice the lack of a automatic feeder. We had them, but apparently these were chosen buyer the buyer. Ours had stream feeders with comb wheels. They had a speed of 1500 sheets per hour (3000 iph effective).
The four cylinders you can see here were the buffers. These helped the type beds reverse and had buffer cups fit into them as the bed went to and fro. Well, these cups were leather and I had to crawl under (with Neats Foot oil), once a week and wipe them. I was supposed to sing or whistle so that no-one inadvertently started up while I was under the machine. Instant mince! I sang "Yellow Submarine". Scary, and the oil stank. The rollers and runners supported the type beds. This is the base frame.

  This is number one cylinder end open for makeready, but also not showing a feeder. Makeready could take 3.5 hours and a washup was at least an hour. Hence there was a constant war between printers (the union), and management, who to cut costs used cheap greasy non drying inks and you guessed it, the quality dropped because the second side slurred because of greasy inks. The end result was mediocre work that as typical of most public sector bookwork. Most of these printers, under pressure, just added more 'weight' and ran with too much impression. I didnt like this end of the press room much, too many old printers for a young bloke like me and too locked into their ways. Most were alcoholics and incredibly noisy. They were like this from a constant machine noise and had a complicated sign language, to signal, around the press. They lead a boring and predictable life and I resisted being shifted into this area.

  These are the form rollers and number one cylinder exposed for make-ready. The rollers could be removed by one man but it was easier with two. When these presses went, the press hall was filled with MAN Roland's but not for long. By the 1980's privatisation overtook this great Australian printing office and they were all scrapped. These presses were Quad Demy but often ran Quad Cap paper size. They just might be the largest sheet fed Letterpress machines the world  has seen. The Government Printing Office was the first press in Australia being set up in 1803.

The ADANA 6x4 Press

A Nice Picture of a good press. Its a 1936 advert for a 6x4 press that launched many a young printer. Or so I am advised by many UK origin folks who visit our market stall and also the British Printing Society of which I am a proud member.
 Lasting impressions picked one up in a  second hand shop in 1986 for $40.00. We used it for years and made it work but couldn't quite work out why it had such primitive inking rollers. Years later when I replaced them I realised that the resourceful previous owner had slipped on some dairy milking hose over the roller stocks. I always wondered about the seam in the roller but somehow we made a lot of cash with this press.  Somehow!
Also, the weirdest Phallic design handle! We now use a 8x5 Adana and its vastly different. Notice how this ad features some sort of stirrup for foot operation.
This is the smallest press I have worked on if we discount the Japanese 'Baren'.

Monday, 21 May 2012

In the Pressroom

When I talk to younger printers starting out in Letterpress I'm surprised by the way they work. They seem to use computer tools as they were taught in university and then use letterpress as a delivery process. Often files are output as CYMK from Illustrator or Indesign/Quark and then the image is "locked in" using process inks and a platen or cylinder press to realise the image on paper using Photo plates.
 I have used Photopolymer and its not all that easy, as I'd be the first to admit. Photopolymer has a very shallow etch, so the lock up has to be perfect and the rollers set to the lightest possible setting. If not then non-image areas get inked and will often print. Its very frustrating and ultimately a fun day of press work descends into lots of cursing and frustration as the printer tries to get a plate to work.

This put me off using the material and sent me in the direction of using more traditional materials. Photopolymer is not all that sharp either. Nothing like new crisp type from M&H foundry or Dale GuiId with their amazing foundry types. Using woodcuts and Linocuts too gives a nice low tech picture which carries a beautiful rich layer of ink on 100 year old presses. they seem to enjoy these materials! It always pays to remember the age when these presses came into existence and work with them. Same goes for deep impression. Too heavy an impression is very wearing of the plate, press and type especially so I avoid punishing the materials. Simple materials puts it all on the creators. those who cut the blocks, set the type and mix the inks. The 'art' is in assemblage and making choices.

With my work, colour is one of the last steps. The right mood is important. I try to match the content of the block with a colour. Sometimes we will print a block in a range of colours - some cool, some warm, to convey different moods. On a platen press you can change colour in minutes. I do own a pantone colour guide (the industry standard) but usually I just flick through it to  get an idea of possibilities. We use just a basic range of rubber based non skinning inks and use opaque white and transparent inks. Incidently mix from very light. Mix by sight and intuition. Start light and very gradually add a darkening colour. Tap a small amount out on paper to check. If you go too dark, "can it" and use it for something else. Start again.

Real Master Printers

Recently we had the joy of handling some 19th century japanese prints. A friend had been gifted them as a bequest.
   These prints are made off carved wooden blocks, with a "Baren" (a pad of bamboo Leaves). Ink is made from soot (black) and various pigment sources, often vegetable. It is amazing to see and to hold closely such beautiful prints. They are printed on handmade paper and these ones obviously had been in albums and suchlike as the mounts were still attached lightly in the top corners.  They are printed in register from successive blocks of colour and were made in hundreds. Often very good copies were made and printers did forge each others work too as famous prints garnered better prices. These guys could really print!

  Our job was to encapsulate them in acid free archival mounts that effectively sealed them from hazards in the future. A good friend who practices these skills taught us how this is done. Core-flute backing board, Mylar, and museum quality materials are used throughout the process. The prints were then stored in a purpose made box. I have a feeling that these sort opportunities happen only once in a lifetime!

Making Cards

Lasting Impressions is a Private Press. This means that we primarily print for the pleasure only seek to trade in order to buy in supplies to keep the studio ticking over. 

Making cards is one way in which in which trade can be mixed with pleasure. Joanne conceives and cuts most of the blocks out of lino. Subject matter is usually based on local wildlife and are usually not message cards. People are buying these cards and framing them, and why not! They are hand printed and archival and have a great feel to them. You can pay a little more though and buy the same image signed, and on a good paper especially for framing.

 Sometimes I make cards based on type. These pull on our growing and excellent type collection and are the usual message based cards. They give me a chance to play with the colour of the 30's and using printers ornaments is a great way to build a distinctive design. Ones that can't be replicated on computer. Ornaments were invisible to me when I was in "the trade" of the 60's. The fad had past by and for me the designs I worked with were usually zinc blocks of plain colours - Gill Sans and Times Roman. It was all very Bauhaus.
  Dale Guild Foundry in New York make these wonderful sets of ornaments and they can be arranged in an infinite way. I spend a lot of time looking at print materials from early 2oth century to the 60's. I look for simple innovative printing and ink colours that come from mixing on the press using mixing tints. Mostly pre-photography and this helps widen my skills base.

  We aim to keep all these skills in use and the studio when we finish (when is that!), will be a unique collection of fine letterpress with the best equipment and tools in daily use by artist/printers. The small amount of product we make goes along way to keep us functioning. Selling at our local market and a couple of retail outlets. The markets are a great way of meeting people who enjoy our work and often we also meet those who are or were printers. Sometimes they have the odd treasure to donate like type or small pieces of equipment.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Howards finished restoration

Readers of this blog will remember a rough but useable platen that Howard has been working on. It all came to fruition and was used at steam museum weekend recently. We set some type for a bookmark design and every attendee could go home with a fine memento. It still needs a pair of friskets and a bit of fine tuning but generally it printed very well. Howard was given a complete Ludlow type caster by an interested visitor. Ludlows are a very useful casting machine used for producing single lines of type from 'fonts' of matrices held in libraries by the user. Widely used all over the world they were a very useful machine in small printeries as it gave the printer great flexibility and cheap good typesetting.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Melbourne Wildseed 2012

 Emma Wild's label, "Wildseed". - Watch for it!!

The end of January and we were away in Melbourne catching up with family and having a break bird watching. Daughter Emma is a total ball of energy at the moment and producing some great fashion works combining silkscreen with lovely fabric designs. She sells at St Andrews market (Saturdays) and Geelong (Friday nights). Printing sure has changed. In my time it was lengthy apprenticeships and not much art now its the opposite. She takes inspiration from nature and the design is eye catching and simple elegance at an affordable price. Printing meets fashion.
 I usually like my presses to be made of cast iron and steel, but I must say I love the design of these silkscreen machines. totally adjustable for register and light enough to operate for medium run lengths. Ideal for back-shed use! Like the early Adana platens in the 50's many a small business is out in the shed! Emma is a fan of photo-screen which combines image gathering, computer work and screen making. Emma's picture I think, or could be Pete's!

 Jo, Emma and grandson Ruben outside Emma's stall at St, Andrews Saturday market. It was so hot. This is a great country market on the edge of Melbourne near an area ravaged by fire a couple of years ago. The landscape and the people are still showing the effects, but the market is vibrant and the overall vibe is relaxed and happy. Lots of interesting stalls. Great food.
A part of the range Emma makes. Its hard work! Shes on a roll folks.
 Emma selling her creations (Wildseed label) proudly being able to say "I designed and printed everything you see".

Melbourne was very hot and full of interest. Emma, Pete, and Ruben live close to our esteemed Prime minister in a neighbourhood close to Port Phillip Bay. Lots of bird life and some wet areas that yielded a couple of new sightings for my life list. Over 300 birds now.

 The "Spirit of Tasmania" is a very smooth ship to voyage on and the staff are actually friendly. Its relaxing and interesting. Try and say that about a recent air journey!

The return voyage had us in recliner chairs at the stern of the ship watching more birds and some great squalls crossing over us. The ferry is a lot more interesting than air travel. I just hate the vibes in air ports these days. Air travel is good if you need to be somewhere fast, but if not, its just an experience in congealed anxiety! I really enjoyed the ocean birds like Gannets, Petrels, and Prions, wheeling around and moving with the fronts.
Now for a year of printing and art in front of us! The paper has arrived and some transparent tint ink, and I have just ordered a font of Centaur titling from Bruce Rodgers original Matts. no ideas for them as yet but its the first time in many, many years, the mats have been released for casting. Dale Guild are doing this service for printers.