Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Our new website and wedding letterpress stationery is here.

Yes, it's happening, we got our new website up this morning   hillendpress.com.au   with all our letterpress stationery and wedding invitations. Boy oh boy, we did it. A years hard work has come to fruition, what a relief we say.

The new wedding range is designed around my love of 1830's time period, I love the clothes and the gentile, but most of all I admire writers Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson, great thinkers.

For Thoreau going to the woods and living for a year on his own in a little hut that Emerson had on his land and really thinking about nature and what it meant to live in solitude and with very little. All he had on his desk was a stone from the pond as decoration and his thoughts onto paper with pen and paper. Writing it all down in a book we now know as  On Waldens Pond, when I read it, it turned my eye to look at nature in the truest sense, to be in the moment.

Let us spend one day as deliberately as Nature, and not be thrown off the track by every nutshell and mosquito wing that falls on the rails. Let us rise early and fast, or breakfast, gently and without perturbation; let company come and company go, let the bells ring and the children cry--determined to make a day of it...Time is but the stream I go-a fishing in...
Henry David Thoreau

For Emerson, he captured the mindfulness with his ideas on how fleeting the permanence of beautiful moments are as being a great disappointment to his life, Emerson quoted "that one can see only certain pictures at once and that the stories and people who fill a day or an hour with pleasure and insight are not able to repeat the performance".

Unlike a printing or an artwork that has permanence and you can return to it to capture a feeling.

It was the beginning of the industrial revolution and these two men were very aware of what the effect of the big changes were going to have on the people and cultures.

To sum it all up, this is why I love the clanking of our press and being out here in the countryside, they are a contradiction and a compliment to each other, they constantly measure each other. It's a balance.

So in the next couple of weeks we will put up the limited edition prints and a few other goodies, but it's alive now and on its way.

We still can't believe it. Another big tick off the board. Yay.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The wedding stationery range is ready!

Long long days of sisyphus work and eating tons of chocolate in all forms is starting to pay off and we woke this morning to realize I had dreamed, all will be fine and it will be all worthwhile, I won't go into my other dream, crazy.  

I feel really good about our efforts, mainly because its all come from us, our drawings, designs have all been incubated here in Hill End, its very much our own and I feel really very proud of that.

Bill and I would wrestle about clip art, me wanting to have reprieve and from the creative endeavour and sneak a clip art in, but Bill would say no no no, do your own ideas. Make it our own. For my part it was keeping up the creativity, which usually is fine but our workload this year was phenomenal with our art exhibitions, building the studio with the help of our friends ( We are forever grateful guys) Swinging from fine art to design, but what I did in the end was just let it all merge and brought in lots of in the moment thinking, no plans, just one step in front of the other.
The idea of  a plan or a future from the word go was thrown out the window, this sounds crazy, as they are useful its true, but I've learnt it only makes one more concerned about the future and comparing to regrettable past events. Always aiming to make things better the next time.

This only makes it all the more harder to enjoy the fully satisfying brief moments which when we look back on our lives will probably be the most important ones.

What this did was calm everything and kept my and our thinking strong, I am such a meditation addict now, its all our talk about besides the garden.

So I have just finished photographing the designs and now for the last big slog with a quick dash is our website, which I have worked on in increments as I've gone along, just to glue it all together and our date of completion is this Friday, so the last push of this stage.

The we can socialize! Not that we don't but more and I oh so want to go to the theatre which is  one thing I really miss living in the country.

So for all our family, friends who have supported us 100% through all of this new adventure, thankyou from the bottom of our hearts. We love you.

Speak soon

All is well in Hill End

Saturday, June 1, 2013

We've started making the photopolymer plates in the new darkroom.

Our studio is up and running, yes you thought this day would never come, but it has and it's so nice to work in. So nice in fact that today I put on Arvo Part  (sublime) and just danced, well kind of did some Genevieve style ballet, the style that you do when know one is looking.

Our underfloor heating is not hooked up yet as our electrician has gone to Russia for seven weeks but promised to return. But we have cocooned the space in so much insulation under the slab, around the slab, up the side of the walls and the roof that we just have had our little panel heater on and it's so cosy inside.

So this afternoon we have been up in the darkroom making the first photopolymer plate for the wedding invitations. We have three weeks to get a range together, its all designed just now to make plates and print. It's rush hour here in Hill End but that's ok as it's all very exciting, so exciting that we jumped out of bed this morning around 6.00pm, still dark and Bill jogged off into the early morning with Tango, came back and we have been on the photopolymer case since.

Photopolymer plates are what is used now for letterpress printmaking. They are light sensitive and come in a sealed pack that only enjoys the darkroom. We don't have a machine to make our plates we are very hands on and want to know how to do it ourselves, to be totally thorough in what we are achieving with our letterpress stationery. I guess it's in the artist psyche to want to know more in whatever we pursue.

The beauty of the photopolymer plate is that we can use a magnetic base in our press and it just snaps on in  position which is very different to years ago when you would handset rows and rows of all the type. We love to handset type too for our arts practice  but for the stationery this is a quicker way to go with very good results.

I draw up the designs, scan them into the computer, take them into Indesign and then we have a little wrestle on which way the fonts sit well (its our process) then Bill produces them into a negative on our Epson stylus pro 3880 printer with the aid of our computer, I love the old method with the contemporary technology.

Then off to the darkroom and exposed in Bill's handmade vacuum box ( his a handy chap, very clever) for 17 minutes, don't forget to take the clear cover film off the front of the plate before going into the V box, then into a bath of thirty degrees for 10 minutes of washing with a terrific little sponge brush Bill found at Bunnings.

This is followed by drying the plate in front of a blow heater and if its a sunny day, it sits on a window ledge sunbaking for a little while, then it's all done.

I also made delightful, just could keep eating them till the cows came home Olive oil biscuits with fennel seed from our garden, so so good just out of the oven.

how to create a photopolymer letterpress plate