DUO KEEPS LETTERPRESS ALIVE
A SMALL studio in the verdant hills of northern NSW is quietly making its mark on the design world.
It is here that Jo and Andy Olive spend their days drawing, designing, printing and constructing fine things with ink, paper and thread.
Under the name Olive and the Volcano, they create handcrafted paper goods using their talents and a much loved vintage press, a Heidelberg platen press that dates from 1956.
“Andy and I work together to design and make notebooks, cards, tags, coasters, buntings and prints that are inspired by everything from philosophy to pop-culture … We believe that everyday items should have a bit of soul, be useful and beautiful,’’ Jo says.
“We are hands on in every aspect of production from concept to print, to scoring, folding stitching and packaging.”
Letterpress is a relief printing technique where a raised surface is inked and pressed into paper.
In a modern world dominated by technology, Andy wants to keep the old art of letterpress alive.
“We are amazed that a machine that can be so oily and dirty can produce such perfect clean prints,” he says.
“Printmaking, and especially letterpress, relies so heavily on problem solving that you have to think logically and quickly if a problem arises. It’s also a very physical print method …
“It can be quite tiring but when you see the results of all of your hard work, it’s very rewarding.”
Olive and the Volcano products are available at online market Etsy, oliveandthevolcano.etsy.com, and at oliveandthevolcano.com
Creative duo Jo and Andy Olive at their Olive and the Volcano studio, making paper goods using the old-fashioned letterpress printing method.