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PRINTERS ARE THE ENEMY

1st August 2022

I guess it had to start somewhere. I've had an interest in printing for most of my life but these days "printers" are often thought of as the enemy. Printers have become a machine that lives hooked up to your computer, by wire, wifi or bluetooth, just waiting... It waits for that day you need to print something important, then it can throw an error, run out of ink, jam some paper or just point blank refuse to do anything!

Refuse to do anything was exactly what my Brother laser printer did when I needed to print an important document with some urgency. It would not even spit out a measly test page. I was so frustrated but this event did start me thinking about how much more reliable the older mechanical process of printing was and that started me on a journey. Admittedly I wasn't going to be able to typeset by hand the legal document I required but the old process of printing had me feeling nostalgic.

As an artist I had been thinking about buying an old printing press to make images from lino cuts and how nice it would be to add words to those images too. So, as I imagine most people would do when their laser printer breaks, I decided to clear out some space in the garage and set up my own printing workshop!

At first I wasn't sure what I would need, other than space and lots of storage in the form of drawers, shelves and work surfaces. I had a few bits of old furniture stored in the garage an decided they would be great to repurpose for printing and so it began.

Now the image above may look like a cold uninviting prison cell but as I said earlier it had to start somewhere and it actually represents great progress. You see the phrase "clearing some space in the garage" might not quite conjure up the Herculean task that lay ahead. The garage was piled high to a dangerous level with lierally a decade of collected junk, there was broken glass, mouse chewed boxes any many things which remained unidentified even after disposal.

I'm not sure how this workshop will fare in the depths of winter and that will be a bridge to cross then. I suspect plenty of layers and warm beverages will be required. I'll post updates as the space continues to develop.



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