Saturday, 12 January 2013

why letterpress....?

It has now been over four weeks since we opened the doors of Flywheel and what a amazing response we have received from all our wonderful customers!   

Most who know us are not surprised by the vintage items in the store.  The biggest surprise has perhaps been the letterpress studio and how we have diverged into this?  Well, it all started with our purchase of some antique wooden printing type a few years ago.  It was love at first sight for us.  The patina of the timber from decades of use, the exquisite craftsmanship in the making of the type, the designs of the typefaces... imagining the posters and signs that were produced using them...

fabulous large Cooper Black wooden type

wooden type with beautiful patina

The mystique of letterpress printing had captured our imagination.  Printing equipment seemed to be finding us or maybe we should just confess to our addiction... Our youngest sister, Rachel started to make lovely gift tags using charming vintage blocks and they proved very popular.  Soon Rachel, who was originally employed to be a retail assistant on a Saturday in The Drill Hall Emporium, was nowhere to be found as she was printing away in our very crowded office. 

some of our gift tags with a very vintage style

What really set the idea of Flywheel in motion was our purchase of a cabinet of lead type, which contained to us a fabulous array of different typefaces.  We were all literally hooked!   There has been lots of trial and error, practice, reading, researching and the undertaking of a marvellous practical course with an experienced letterpress printer since...   

lead type in our original cabinet 
but what a lovely process to use centuries old methods and antique equipment in today's world to produce something by hand that is tactile, authentic and hopefully charming and unique. 

Until next time, 

the flywheel team

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