Monday, 21 April 2014

Our new home

We're based on the edge of the stunning Peak District, in the centre of the busy and thriving city of Derby. We've lived here for many years and have got to know many, many wonderful people through our creative endeavours as well as through many other areas of our lives. We love it here!

So, when we decided that it was time to move our teeny studio to slightly less teeny settings, we knew that we were going to keep it within the city boundary. Through our long term association as friends, members, volunteers and more recently as guest tutors at Green Door Studio it was probably inevitable that we were going to wind up fairly close to them. We didn't quite realise how close until a chance conversation brought us a step closer to our new home. It turned out that Green Door had their eye on the empty studio next to theirs, within Banks Mill. Although the space was earmarked for them, it wasn't part of their immediate plans to take it over. And then we realised, wouldn't it be fantastic to share this little space? Talks ensued and we can now announce that we're to become joint tenants of studio 0.2. We'll work closely together in some aspects and separately in other aspects, to offer an even more rounded printing experience in Derby.

Banks Mill is fantastic creative hub owned and operated by the University of Derby as Evolve, to support and nurture creative businesses in the Midlands. With the studio space, they also offer business support, and it's a fantastic opportunity for us to develop our studio. The Mill itself is one of many mills around the city - I hadn't realised just how many until I started looking into the history of the building recently! Information regarding Banks & Son Mill is sketchy to say the least but the building itself provides a fantastic heritage backdrop to our vintage presses. The little I found on t'internet can be found here

Banks Mill, Bridge Street, Derby DE1 3LB

We love to see people new and old so drop us a line if you'd like to pop by and see us at work. Even better, why not get in touch to discuss a workshop or the shadowing service we offer, where you can learn to letterpress your own project? The kettle's on!

Squintani Model No. 6, our new treadle press

Squintani Model No. 6 treadle press

The design was patented for the Model Press in America in 1874 by William Clark and Joshua Daughaday. Carlo Giuseppe Squintani took the British patent out on 10 April 1877.

“Everyone his own printer” was the phrase used by many, but claimed by the Model Press people. This small press was never sold just as a toy, or machine for the hobbyist, but was marketed to appeal to the widest audience.

Squintani started selling presses from Summer 1877 but it’s not known whether these first presses were manufactured in the UK or imported. By 1888 Squintani’s adverts claimed the presses were made by a high-quality engineer in London.

The presses were available in a variety of sizes from the No. 0 to the treadle-driven No. 6 Job. The American and French numbering system for model presses differed from the UK versions. The table below shows the key sizes.

   Model                   Chase Size (inches)       Hand- or Treadle-driven      Weight* (lbs)
   No. 0                     2.125 x 3.75                 Hand                                       None Given
   No. 1                     3.125 x 5.125               Hand                                       65
   No. 2                     5 x 7.5                          Hand                                       112
   No. 3                     6 x 9                             Hand                                       148
   No. 3 High Speed      6 x 9                             Treadle                                    None Given
   No. 4                     7 x 10.5                        Hand                                        248
   No. 5 Job               7 x 11                           Treadle                                    None Given
   No. 6 Job               9 x 13                           Treadle                                    Estimated ¾ ton

* Weights from John Ryder’s Printing for Pleasure.
Model Treadle Press (from Excelsior Catalogue)

WE Cook advertised the ‘Improved Model’ press between 1898 and 1900 in only one size: an 11″ x 5″ treadle platen.

While the Model Press was sold for nearly a hundred years, the appeal of the Adana seemed to eclipse it, despite the Model being a more sturdy-built press.

In common with Adana, Squintani sold complete outfits including the press, type and ink from their showrooms in Farringdon, London.

Information taken from the British Letterpress website, kindly supplied by Toby Hardwick and Nick Smith.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

A new addition to our letterpress family

You can now find us in Studio 0.2 in Banks Mill, Bridge Street, Derby DE23. We are working alongside Green Door Printmaking Studio and supported by the Evolve team. The new space has allowed us to acquire 'new' equipment (new to us, but seriously vintage in the eyes of well, everyone).

We'll be posting some background history on our Squintani but in the meantime, here she is!

Squintani Model no. 6 treadle press

Saturday, 5 April 2014

The Smallprint Company Open Day

To celebrate moving into our studio we'll be holding an Open Day on Saturday, April 26th, from 12pm, along with Green Door Printmaking Studio.

It's a long-held desire to have a studio and it's finally seeing fruition. We'd love you to share in our excitement and see the studio for yourselves. We'll be on hand to talk about our letterpress equipment and discuss anything and everything to do with letterpress... Everyone is welcome!

You will find us in Studio 0.2, Banks Mill, Bridge Street, Derby DE1 3LB.

Monday, 31 March 2014

Grand designs: The Smallprint Company is moving!

If anyone thought we were a little quiet recently, this is the reason why... 

We can finally announce that our little studio is going to be housed in Banks Mill. We will become a part of a thriving creative community of businesses and be situated next door to Green Door Printmaking Studio.

We're thrilled to be working alongside Green Door's Anna & Pan and we'll finally have a dedicated space, allowing us to expand our services! We'll continue to offer our commission service and we can now also offer letterpress shadowing services to our clients and Green Door members and extend our workshop timetable. It also means we can now take delivery of a much bigger treadle press - a Squintani! - and have an improved meeting area to discuss projects with clients.

Once we're settled into the studio we'll be announcing an open day and launch party. Visitors can pop along for a chat with us and have a good squint at our Squintani!

Watch this space for more news and updates, including our trip to Manchester to bring 'Squinty' home with us as well as some background info on the Squintani itself...

Banks Mill, Bridge St, Derby
The move does mean that our services will be disrupted and we will do our utmost to keep this to a minimum. We will honour all current commissions and will have them despatched before we move studio. The studio will then be on down time for a maximum of two weeks whilst we prepare our new studio, move our equipment in and get ready for the next stage in our business. This is currently scheduled as being between Monday April 14th and Friday 25th April. We will continue to monitor emails and all messages will be dealt with promptly.

Any questions, please don't hesitate to get in touch via email or by mobile: 07806 782109 or 07948 266652

Bridge Street, walking from Friargate in Derby

Banks Mill on a beautiful Spring morning!

Monday, 10 March 2014

Vintage & Quirky fair in the Peaks

You will find us at this fabulous Derbyshire Peaks event in Beeley village on Sunday 16th March. 

Beeley is on the edge of the Chatsworth Estate making it a fabulous Spring excursion, especially if recent weather holds up! 

Beeley village, near Chatsworth