New beginnings

We’ve been working so hard over the last few weeks and we can finally see an end in sight! Hooray!!!

We must say that the work could not have been achieved in the time that it has, without the help of some very generous friends and family, donating their time to splash paint on the walls…

Today my Dad came to the studio to hang some rather special wood engravings for our very first exhibition at Friary Villas and they look simply stunning.

We’ll be announcing an official launch open day in the next few days, so watch this space!

 

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Making progress

Our new space is in good shape overall but a little tired around the edges, so we’re decorating throughout, removing the grubby carpet and adding our own touches.

Some days it feels like it’s going on forever and then we remember that we’ve only been there 3 days, a week, 2 weeks…

It’s actually shaping up pretty quickly and a huge reason for that is the great bunch of friends we have who gave up a little of their time to paint and put shelves up. Beer and a bbq might have been a factor…

From Banks Mill to Friary Street (via Chapel-en-le-Frith)…

It’s been an absolute whirlwind over the last few weeks but it’s been such fun and we’ve been overwhelmed with the support that friends and family have given us. They are absolute stars!

The actual move went as smoothly as expected (although I suspect Phil may be a little more hesitant in helping us to move ever again!!) and then we have ploughed headlong into the decorating. Each day sees some improvement, we’re starting to see it all take shape now and we’ve started working on commissions again… Good stuff!

Photo documentary of the move (pt 1)

 

 

BBC4 visits the studio!

The BBC4 popped by to film some shots of the presses for a show to be aired around Christmas time recently.

Railways: The Making of a Nation has a lot more to do with letterpress than you (or I) realise! Simply put, industrial centres -towns and burgeoning cities – produce something which in Derby’s case was textiles, and transported their products around the UK using the national rail network. And of course, the rail network depended upon local printers to print their administrative and marketing paperwork amongst other things. Derby being a textile town with a developing railway network had its fair share of local printers to support their empire. It’s good to know that we’re continuing a tradition… but watch the show for a more informed precis!!

 

Utopia Works: A Factory

Utopia Works                   Silk Mill, Derby                      20 May 2016

Stories of Change, Utopia Works

Due to a series of fortunate events, the guys from Bullet Creative found themselves on the doorstep of Banks Mill last month, looking for a letterpress studio. Bullet were scouting out the impressive Silk Mill out for an upcoming event when, by chance, they came across The Smallprint Company.

After a whistle-stop tour of the studio we found ourselves discussing workshops for a project funded by the AHRC and led by the University of Sheffield in conjunction with the Open University, Bullet and the Silk Mill.

And so onto Utopia Works…

Stories of Change project aims to help to revive stalled public and political conversations about energy by looking in a fresh way at its past, present and future.”

“A factory, ‘works’, of utopian thinking and making – at the site of the world’s first factory, the Silk Mill in Derby. The AHRC Connected Communities Festival 2016 takes place during the quincentenary year of Thomas More’s Utopia.”

“The Utopia Works event will comprise an Energy Hack; ‘Utopia Press’, a pamphleteering workshop; ‘Utopia Walks’, a tour of the Silk Mill archive of energy and making; and ‘Utopia Talks’, a programme of discussions on how utopia works: re-imagining the future of energy in work, rest and play.”

 

Gorm, Kathy, Renata and Julia visited us for a second time recently to enjoy a morning planning the Utopia press experience. Photos below!

 

A letterpress tale

The Smallprint Co. has been printing officially for just over 3 years. Unofficially, we’ve been printing in various guises for well over 20 years.

We love documenting our adventures, projects including Stories of Change, events and we needed a better platform for sharing our photographs on.

Let’s see how this goes… Comments welcome and enjoy!

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