After seeing how much I loved the course at The Grange, my best beloved, who is very nice indeed, bought me an Adana 8x5. I took over the kitchen table, and gradually collected more and more stuff. We ate off trays for more than a year (best beloved is very tolerant!) and the house stank of white spirit.
Above: The Adana set up on the kitchen table and the very first thing I printed using the ink that came with the press. Any colour you like, so long as it's green!
Eventually I had the Adana, a full size type cabinet, a Stephenson Blake cabinet and galley rack, a furniture rack, stacks of typecases and other inky paraphernalia, and very little room to move (it's not a terribly big house). Last summer I heard about a cast iron floor-standing treadle press for sale in Wales...
Above: The journey to Wales was dreadful. Don't know how I coped.
Above: My new press in its old home at Embers Handpress! Roy Watkins very kindly spent the day showing me how it worked. I now have a video manual on my iPhone - utterly invaluable.
Above: I also bought some rather lovely type. That's 48pt Saphir on the left, and 48pt Fry's Ornamented on the right.
Above: Here's how the Fry's Ornamented looks when printed. Gorgeous! I also picked up some 60pt aluminium Albertus titling.
Cue my new digs down at Ludlow's Loudwater studio. I rent a room at the back, which despite being bigger than our kitchen, is already bursting at the seams. Rather an occupational hazard, it seems. I'm still in the process of getting everything organised (shelves, anyone?) but it's getting there, and the press is very happy, as am I.
Above: The freshly painted workshop, all ready and waiting. The wooden square is a panel of exterior ply that's been given about 4 coats of yacht varnish to catch oil drips and stop them damaging the floor. I also got a couple bits of hardwood on which to stand the press so that there'd be no risk of trapping my foot beneath the treadle.
Above: Moving day! Keith Ellis from Stoke on Trent handled the move (he comes highly recommended). The body of the press is cast in a single piece. Stripped down it was still unbelievably heavy, even for guys like these. Without them it'd still be sat in Wales! Money well spent.
Once I've got shelving and cupboards up, I'll be decorating any and all available wall space with letterpress printed ephemera. I can't wait!
Above: Functional at last! There's more to come, but all the basics are in place and I've managed to fit in 3 type cabinets.