Tuesday, April 12, 2011


When Amie Zar walked through the front door of Hill End Press she was suddenly immersed in our world of uniting old and new techniques in printmaking and knew she had discovered the right place for her find.
Amie presented to us a big brown box full of fifty two overlooked and forgotten engraved blocks of the 1921 Silver Jubilee of Leichhardt showing the marks of time that she had come across in the depths of the council archives.

It was our task to print all fifty two blocks for Heritage week which we naturally embraced.(Breathing in Virginia and Leonard once again) The first task was to unwrap and sort the blocks with carefully cutting into the nice crunching sound of old paper with descriptions written in scrolling handwriting.
The engraved blocks were covered in a protective shellac and this had to be removed and the blocks cleaned up to see what we had.
Before printing the edition, colours were selected by artist Cat Mills and Amie Zar and we wanted to achieve a look that showed the integrity of the blocks without overpowering them too.

An important consideration was the type and here we used an ever expanding collection of metal and wooden type partly of ours and artist minigraff www.minigraff.com.

The naming of each block, we played on words and the expression of them. For example the fire station
had FIRE FIRE FIRE running off the page and placed above the fire hydrant in the exhibition space.

Fruitfully we made 832 impressions on our Gordon Platen Press and at one stage it felt like the press was walking across the room towards us.
To watch subtitled movies at night was given the big miss we were blissfully typed out.
Central to this whole experience was the friendship developed with Amie and the knowledge we expanded on. 
Working together with like minded that understand the care and balance of history we found ourselves very much on the same page.
Exhibition is held at Leichhardt Council library Norton street Leichhardt
Hill End Press run letterpress and photogravure workshops see our March entry on the blog.