Saturday, May 26, 2012

on the inside...

Now that I've opened the doors of the bookworks for the first time - 

would you like to meet some of my favourite bits of studio equipment?

here's 'Maria'...

... a huge French standing press
she gained the nickname 'Maria' because I picked her up in the nearby township of Moruya

isn't she a lovely looking girl?
but at 250kgs she is a substantial lass!
Phil welded her a special metal table/base so we can feel confident that she's fully supported

then there's 'Chappie'

weighing in at around one tonne
 'Chappie' - my late 19th century Chandler and Price clamshell printing press - does tend to dominate the space so I've tucked him into the back of the studio

nearby is my one chest of metal type (and letterpress bits and pieces)

(although 'Chappie' and mates do take up a lot of space in the studio, I'm not really a letterpress printer so I don't have mountains of gear & I certainly make no pretense at being a letterpress expert!)

My book journey started from the land of calligraphy
 and look - here's my tilted drafting table that's been my faithful calligraphy table 
since the early 1990s... 

its a homemade affair that has lovely a Vemco drafting machine - a beautiful drafting tool more commonly seen in an architects atelier than a calligrapher's studio...
My calligraphy table takes advantage of lovely easterly light
- and soon I'll be able to look out onto my beloved chooks in their own yard -
(right now they are living in a moveable chook tractor that you can spy through the window!)

also inside the studio is my smaller copy press ...

that I use as a nipping press

then there's 'tubbie'

my wooden finishing press and tub

my big wooden finishing press....

sewing frames....

and all my precious hand tools.....

Very soon I'll be announcing the next open day
(I'm hibernating for the winter!) 

when I'll be concentrating on just BOOOOOOOOKS -
so you can come and play with all these goodies
(and maybe even make some booky things)

stay tuned!



  1. Wow Ronnie your equipment looks gorgeous, especially Maria. I am coveting your sewing frame and finishing press and will no doubt have to rig up some sort of homemade one as I do not have these and doubt I will come across any here.

    One day I would love to dabble a bit in letterpress and hope to stumble upon and old press when the timing is right.

    Enjoy all your lovely finds that make your studio your space!

    1. .... and almost all these lovelies dropped into my world - can you believe that? ahhhhhh you should hear the tales of how 'chappie' and 'maria' came to live at my place..... hint - they found me!

  2. Exquisite. As someone who is just learning about the printing side of design these take my breath away. Thank you for sharing. Can't wait till the next open day - hope I can end up making it to this one! Shan

  3. Just stunning stuff, Rommie. And well deserved that they did find you. Very happy findings.

  4. Wow Ronnie! I had no idea that you had so many different presses. No wonder your studio is a shed rather than the third bedroom! I've been using one of Tubbie's brother's here in the bookbinding studio - my first experience of this type of press. It is extremely handy!

  5. Ronnie, your studio is amazing and your Books & equipment "Motherdom" is your haven. Just to know it is ALL there. Just to know it is yours. Just to look,admire and not have to covet thy neighbors goods...because it all belongs to you...all cleaned and polished up like your kidlings going out for a Sunday parade to honor the sacred art of bookmaking;except,sometimes you have a burning desire of release. Your mind is filled with adventures. Denis Brown knew I needed to meet you and what a great idea for me to seek you out. Boring people bore me. You fascinate my artistic flow. Thank you for sharing all of your loves.

  6. Ronnie, every piece of treasure -I mean equipment- is SUPERB!
    You are a 1st class link in the chain of owners/users of all these beauties.
    How wonderful that you have them now and that they continue being in use!
    Thank you for showing us! I will be coming back to see them again and again...