My involvement in the Printing Society came about when I was visiting the Park with my nephew and we came into the Printery. He was really into making the notebook and templates and things that children get to do when they come into the Printery.
Then Gary told me about the Nostalgia Festival coming up at the Printery where the Printing Society was offering to run sessions over a weekend creating a Poster in groups using the old presses. So I went along to that, got hooked and have been coming back ever since.
I had done a little wood carving printing at Hagley College on an After3 course with Pippa Judge (one of our Executive members) in the past, which is why I was drawn into the Nostalgia Fest workshops.
One of the reasons I was so keen to have a go at the Printery is because there are so many presses for us to experiment with - we have such a great range of resources for people to use.
The biggest challenge I have faced is that it is all new to me. There isnʻt a manual you can just pick up and go with. There is so much to learn and because of the practical nature of printing, the only way is to learn through doing - have a go and see what you come up with.
If there is something I am trying to create where I want to have multiple copies which I want to be ʻcraftyʻ and unique - made by hand, etc, then I always think - “Can this be done at the Printery?”
I have enjoyed making a Motherʻs Day card for my mother and a dinner menu for a dinner party I was having.
And with my recent wedding, I made the wedding invitations and other cards to do with the wedding held at Ferrymead, which all made it a little special.
Until friends and family have seen in photos what is needed to produce the final product, it is very hard for them to gain an appreciation of the work that is involved. When you try to describe the process, it sort of goes in one ear and out the other. But when they see what you have had to do, they are blown away with what you have done - which is nice.
While I would find it very difficult to survive very long in my daily work without a laptop, when I create and print something on computer, you canʻt see how it is produced - it just happens because of the keys you press.
When you use old printing gear, you are aware of that sense of history - that this is the way things used to be done. You are part of everything that happens - you can see the machine working before you, which is quite cool. To have worked hard to produce something worthwhile gives you greater appreciation when you finally achieve something you are proud of.