Nottingham Industrial Museum

The Smallprint Co. has been working recently with Nottingham Industrial Museum in a small way, in offering advice and support on their Albion and Cropper presses, which is a real treat!

We knew nothing of the museum when we first visited, which is housed in the stable blocks of Wollaton Hall. The place is filled with remarkable objects that tell the story of the industries that grew up in and around Nottingham and supported by a dedicated team of volunteers.

We were invited to attend the launch of their 40th Anniversary exhibition, of the first public steaming of the reconstructed Basford Beam Engine, which is a true feat of engineering, not least because it was transported piece by heavy piece to the museum 40 years ago (hence the exhibition).

A few weeks ago we were invited back again to take part in their working crafts weekend. Alongside weavers, knitters, blacksmiths and lacemakers, Chris operated the Albion in true Smallprint style, printing posters to use around the museum. Visitors were invited to have a go and we were overjoyed to be allowed to work the Albion.

The Cropper sadly, needs a little more TLC and has an unusual inking plate made up of two sections or discs (you can just make this out on one of the photos below). Until we see the machine operational we can only guess, but we think that the inner disc may rotate at a different speed. Looking forward to seeing it in action, in any case!

 

 

Smallprint’s Open Day

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To celebrate our new space and welcome friends old and new, join us for an Open Day

Saturday 29th October 2016 at Friary Street, DE1 1JF

RSVPs are recommended and free tickets can be found over on our Eventbrite page at http://bit.ly/TSCOD

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The Smallprint Company has moved premises from a small incubation unit hosted by the University of Derby to our very own independent space.

Alongside our regular services of commissions, workshops and paper goods, you will find a dedicated exhibition space, shop and more workshop space than ever before, as well as being able to house our ever growing collection of vintage presses and moveable type.

Clients can discuss their commission in a comfortable space with Hannah and Chris and The Workshop is available to hire for meetings and creative activities. The gallery space is also perfect for showcasing a wide range of print practitioner’s work. Currently showing is Wood Engravings by Rob Chapman, a beautiful collection of intricate wood engravings based upon his walks around his countryside home.

You will also find a range of new stockists to complement The Smallprint Company’s range of paper goods. Alongside our popular ranges of cards, gift tags and prints, you will find hand printed gift wrap, prints and other unique giftware by talented craftspeople.

Find us conveniently located to the rear of Friar Gate, on Friary Street, in the centre of Derby.

 

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!

 

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!!

 

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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