VINTAGE PRINTS

DUO KEEPS LET­TER­PRESS ALIVE

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - LIFESTYLE - Janita Singh

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.

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