Whimsical city

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Love Letterpress By Larina

Do you have dreams?

And I don't mean the "dreaming of being Cinderella or Kate Middleton" kind of dreams. I meant the dreams of doing something which (to yourself) is the greatest thing whilst (to others) is something out of your mind or senseless.

I think I do.. Yup, I do.

I have a thing with cards. I love them - I love seeing them, feeling them, touching them, reading them, buying them, collecting them and making them (normal?) Well, now, I feel like printing them.
the gigantic letterpress machine

Letterpress printing. An art oh so fine. It is one of the things (apart from 7-feet-tall hunks and cupcakes) that could catch my eye and make me pause and gaze upon. No kiddin'.

What's letterpress printing? In simple English, it is a very old-fashioned and traditional way of printing manually by inking and pressing movable types on the paper or the thing that you wanted it to be printed on. The end result of it would be you will be able to feel the impression of the printed words on the card. 

People hardly ever use this method anymore 'coz it's time-consuming and it involves a lot of your own sweat and effort just to make one print. 

General public's question: Why bother when there's digital printing available now? 
Larina's answer: 'Coz letterpress printing is different!! Yessssss, there is a difference [exclamation mark] It is a very special and personal kind of art.

And so, I'm blessed to bump into The Gentlemen's Press (out of fate, I'm sure) when I was casually browsing from my Instagram page one fine day. They are a letterpress studio located in Singapore. I contacted them and asked if they were giving any workshops to people like me (who loveeed letterpress printing but have zero knowledge of it). Surprisingly, Michelle (one of the owners) replied and said they were actually having a workshop in 2 weeks time! I was sooooooo excited.

And so, the subsequent events took place:-

1. I buzzed my best pal, Mabel to see if she wanted to make a day trip down to Singapore (she has a cousin staying in Singapore so the chances of her saying yes is quite high. But I'm her best pal, she would have to say yes unless she really couldn't. LOL)
2. I checked the airtickets. Via Tiger Airways - RM175/person.
3. As I hoped, Mabel ok-ed the trip.
4. I bought the tickets and we flew to Singapore on the 8.25am flight on 8th September 2012.
5. Once reached, Mabel headed to Marina Bay Sands to meet her cousin whilst I took the cab and lugged my luggage all the way to The Gentlemen's Press.
6.  The lovely owners of The Gentlemen's Press (Michelle and Shian) were very touched that I flew all the way from KL to attend the workshop :-D (FYI, Michelle and Shian are young, fresh art and design graduates and they are already the owners, how cool is that?)
7. The workshop cost SGD120.00 and I spent a good 5 hours inside the studio (softdrinks provided by Michelle and the team, thank God! They can "not" eat when they are working. Can you see how serious they are at work?)
7. I left the studio with a bunch of cards that I've printed and a pocketful of knowledge behind the art of letterpress.

Thank you The Gentlemen's Press! You guys rock!

we have to securely lock all the types and furniture inside the frame/chase

the types available

Michelle and their intern, Nielson serious at work

That's my chase with the types that I've compiled

putting the ink on the machine

the ink is evenly filled up

setting the paper to be inked

I took like an hour to set the types!

Nielson assisting me to secure the types inside the chase

Let's get inked! Ta dah!

This is another letterpress machine

Me colouring my types

let's play with the colours

roll em' baby!
the team at The Gentlemen's Press

the lovely studio of The Gentlemen's Press

the lovely work of Michelle's

the lovely studio of The Gentlemen's Press