New Products, Summer Workshops & Open Studios

Blog, Events & Competitions, Interactive Events, New Products, open studios, Stationery, Workshops

A couple of weeks ago we welcomed the great and the good into our workshop as part of the annual Cockpit Arts Summer Open studios. We were running demonstrations on our, lovingly restored, treadle platen press; showing people the basics of how it works, the principles of letterpress and then letting the brave ones step up to the plate and have a go. We were printing greyboard beer mats with a composed design from our usual collection and we thought it’d be nice to break out the super bright fluorescent orange for the event. Fun and games all round and no lost fingers either! Plus it was a chance to show off our new range of wedding stationery and personalised stationery sets.

We also launched several new products over the weekend, namely our Pencil Notebook, which is a flip top style with a concealed pencil tucked away and graph paper inside, plus we also had two new card designs; Get Some Cider Inside Yer & The Big Beard Boys Brigade. There were our new generic Save The Date cards as well which can be used for anything from weddings to birthdays to picnics. Finally there were our two new limited edition prints; If It Is To Be and Even The Smallest Crank. Both were printed on our flatbed proofing press and were composed from our larger woodblock type.

Workshops

Seeing as it’s (technically) Summer, it’s time to run some workshops again! We’ve just put up a list of 10 dates, all of them are evening sessions, as they proved the most popular in the past, but we’re running them two days a week, every week until August. For a full description of what they cover check out the workshops page. All the dates and links to the Eventbrite listings are below where you can purchase tickets.

Tuesday the 28th of June 6pm – 9pm

Wednesday the 29th of June 6pm – 9pm

Monday the 4th of July 6pm – 9pm

Wednesday the 6th of July 6pm – 9pm

Wednesday the 13th of July 6pm – 9pm

Thursday the 14th of July 6pm – 9pm

Wednesday the 20th of July 6pm – 9pm

Thursday the 21st of July 6pm – 9pm

Wednesday the 27th of July 6pm – 9pm

Thursday the 28th of July 6pm – 9pm

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Summer Open Studios

Blog, Events & Competitions, Interactive Events, New Products, open studios

Cockpit 30Coming up this week, starting on Thursday night, is the annual Cockpit Arts Summer Open Studios, and this year they’re celebrating their 30th birthday! As per usual, we’ll be opening our doors along with 170 other craftspeople and makers across the two sites. We’re busily putting the finishing touches to some new products that we’ll be launching at the event, plus we’ll have our full range of newly designed wedding stationery on display.

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We’ll also be running live demonstrations of our 120 year old treadle platen printing press, on Friday 3rd June, Saturday 4th June and Sunday 5th June at from 1pm – 2pm and 3pm – 4pm. We’ll be showing off the techniques involved in letterpress printing along with how we run the venerable beast, plus visitors can have a go and pull their own keepsake print to take away. Anyone who has visited our studio will know that space is limited, so arrive early if you want to see the action properly!

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We’re at the Holborn site and the dates and open times are listed below:

Entry: FREE

Holborn 2nd – 5th June

Opening Times: Thurs 6 – 9pm, Fri, Sat & Sun 11am – 6pm
Cockpit Yard, Northington St, London, WC1N 2NP

Deptford 10th – 12th June

Opening times: Fri 11am – 9pm, Sat & Sun 11am – 6pm
18-22 Creekside London, SE8 3DZ

Letterpress on Board and Open Studios

Ditchling Museum, Events & Competitions, Interactive Events, Letterpress On Board, open studios

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So we have returned from our escapades last weekend, having talked to ten train loads of passengers, given out hundreds of free postcard prints and developed a new found respect for the staff who had to push those trolleys all day everyday!

It started bright and early on the train from Victoria. With our modified trolley all cleaned up, branded and packed full of equipment, we set off to Brighton. Unsure of how the public would respond to being offered a free letterpress, limited edition print rather than a sandwich and a cup of tea, we were pleasantly surprised as many people were thoroughly interested on their way to the beach. Information on the Village of Type, Ditchling Museum and the Brighton Festival was dished out aplenty along with dozens of prints too. Arriving at Brighton there was just enough time for a coffee re-fuel before we were off again back to London.

All in all we did ten trips on mostly busy to packed trains full of people heading to the beach or the Brighton Festival itself, about 600 prints were pulled and dished out and we had chats with tons of people, introducing many to Ditchling Museum and village.

Cockpit 30

Open Studios

It’s that time of year again, plus Cockpit Arts is celebrating it’s 30th birthday too! As per usual, we’ll be opening our doors along with 170 other craftspeople and makers across the two sites. We’ll be running live demonstrations of our 120 year old treadle printing press as well, along with the chance to pick up a free one off print. We’re at the Holborn site and the dates and open times are listed below:

Holborn 2nd – 5th June

Opening Times: Thurs 6 – 9pm, Fri, Sat & Sun 11am – 6pm
Cockpit Yard, Northington St, London, WC1N 2NP

Deptford 10th – 12th June

Opening times: Fri 11am – 9pm, Sat & Sun 11am – 6pm
18-22 Creekside London, SE8 3DZ

Letterpress On Board!

Blog, Ditchling Museum, Events & Competitions, Interactive Events, Letterpress On Board

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Having just completed one madcap event involving printing with a steamroller, we’re straight onto the next one this weekend; Letterpress on Board!

Once again in conjunction with Ditchling Museum and as part of their Village of Type celebration of 100 years of the Johnston typeface, we are setting ourselves up to do some live letterpress printing on a train. To coincide with the start of the Brighton Festival this weekend, we’ll be taking an Adana 8×5, fitted to a specially modified trolley, on several trips between London Victoria and Brighton. We’ll offering the public a chance to have a go at printing and take away a specially designed postcard for free.

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We created the design itself with a mixture of regular Gill Sans, and some of the more diverse variations such as Gill Sans Cameo and Gill Sans Light Shadowed, from our collection of lead type.

So if you’re heading down to Brighton for the festival this weekend, or up to London for that matter, and fancy printing one of these postcards, then look out for us on the following trains:


Saturday 7 May
10.20 : London Victoria to Brighton via Hassocks
11:58 : Brighton to London Victoria
13.20 : London Victoria to Brighton via Hassocks
14.28 : Brighton to London Victoria via Hassocks
15.50 : London Victoria to Brighton


Sunday 8 May
10.14 : Brighton to London Victoria
12:06 : London Victoria to Brighton
13.35 : Brighton to London Victoria
15:06 : London Victoria to Brighton
16:35 : Brighton to London Victoria

Press On! At the Big Steam Print

Blog, Ditchling Museum, Events & Competitions, Interactive Events

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After many days spent digging, scraping and carving our way through 1m square of lino, we were ready for the Big Steam Print last Saturday to help celebrate 100 years of the Johnston typeface and the Village of Type in collaboration with Ditchling Museum. Setting up at the fantastic London Transport Museum depot in Acton, we were greeted with a solid toot from the whistle of the steam roller, all the way from Amberley. Some of the other groups had been printing already that morning with fine results from New North Press, James Brown, East London Printmakers, Red Hot Press, Jealous Gallery, and of course Lucky Budgie who came up with the whole idea.

We got down to the task of inking, which took a fair while by hand, especially since we need a good thick coat and only had time for two prints. Inking complete, we set the lino down in the path of the steam roller, followed by the paper and a protective mat. Then it was time to print! Naturally we both had to have a go riding on the footplate, (so we could properly supervise the process of course) as 12.5 tons of pressure was applied to our lino. The unveiling was a bit nerve wracking but the results were great, as you can see below with astonished onlookers Ruth and Brendan from iamacrylic.

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All in all it was a great day out and excellent fun doing a project like this, it’s not very often you get the chance to print with a steam roller! We’d like to say a huge thank you to Ditchling Museum, Lucky Budgie and the London Transport Muesum for organising it, plus of course everyone who backed it on the ArtFund / Art Happens site; as it wouldn’t have happened without you all.

The prints themselves will be on display as part of an exhibition at the Phoenix Gallery in Brighton on the 6th – 21st of August. Keep an eye on the Ditchling Museum’s website as well for news of the other Village of Type events that are happening.

The Big Steam Print

Events & Competitions, Interactive Events

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As letterpress printers, we’re naturally very keen on big lumps of cast iron and silghtly impractical methodologies, so when we found out that Ditchling Museum of Art and Craft were organising an event to print using a 12.5 tonne vintage steamroller we had to get involved!

The event is being funded via Art Happens and needs your support to make it happen. Donations have some great rewards including prints by Anthony Burrill, a Big Steam Print tote bag by Lucky Budgie. A limited edition gold letterpress print by Thomas Mayo or the chance to make your own print and sit on the steamroller to print it.

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The print days are scheduled to go ahead at the end of March and into June. We’ll be attending the weekend of the 23rd and 24th of April at the London Transport Museum, Acton Depot. The other dates are as follows:

28 March – Amberley Museum & Heritage Centre (museum entrance fees apply)

23/24 April – London Transport Museum, Acton depot open weekend (museum entrance fees apply)

22 May, 12-5pm – Brighton on the Level, as part of Brighton Festival, free

18 June, 12-5pm – Ditchling Village Fair, free

We’ve already ordered our giant bit of lino and are sharpening our tools, ready to make the first cuts. There’ll be a long list of other letterpress printers, designers and students from schools, colleges and Universities who’ll be taking part as well.

So if you have a keen interest in letterpress, vintage cast iron machinery, vast pieces of lino and trouser-worryingly high amounts of pressure then do please head over to the crowdfunding page and help make this happen!

January Sale!

Etsy, Sale

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Yes that’s right folks, we’re back in action and having a bit of a clear out. A new year means time for a big tidy of the studio and workshop, so we felt it’d be a good time for a quick sale on our online store too!

To celebrate it being 2016, we’re offering 16% off all orders via our Etsy shop, just enter the code: SORTSALE16 at the checkout. We’ll be running the sale until the 17th of February, so get in early for some bargains!

New Tote Bags & Show Follow Up

Etsy, Events & Competitions, Interactive Events, New Products, open studios, Postage Dates, Renegade Craft Fair

And so our season of shows draws to a close, we’d like to extend a hearty thanks to everyone who came to see us at the Renegade Craft Fair, our own Open Studios and Cockpit Arts and last weekend’s Etsy Made Local; they were all fantastically busy and we had a great time meeting tons of lovely people and other designer makers. A big thanks to all the event organisers too for putting on such great events!

Renegade Craft Fair

Cockpit Arts Open Studios Holborn

Etsy Made Local London

Anyone who came to our Open Studios or Etsy Made Local will have seen that we have also just released some new canvas tote bags. Fresh off the presses, they are made from 100% natural 10 oz cotton, and come with a 10cm gusset so they’re extra strong and can fit plenty of bits & bobs, odds & sods or just general stuff!!!

They’re available on our Etsy store right now, in fairly limited quantities, but we should have more done soon. Speaking of online stores; it’s getting perilously close to Christmas and our cut off points for getting orders out before then are as follows:

14th December – Worldwide

18th December – UK

Any orders placed after those dates will still be sent but may not reach you until January, so get in quick!

Open Studios and Etsy Made Local

Etsy, Events & Competitions, Interactive Events, open studios

We’re halfway through our run of events and fairs this winter season but the biggest two are just around the corner. In less than a week we’ve got the annual Cockpit Arts Christmas Open Studios; starting this coming Thursday evening with a late night preview. As per usual, we’ll be opening our doors to the general public along with 170 other designer makers over the two sites, so that anyone can come along and talk to us, see our workspaces and peruse our wares. We’ll have our treadle press running on and off during the weekend plus we’re aiming to have some new products available just in time for Christmas.

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Then in a craft-tastic double-whammy, the weekend after we’re taking part in Etsy Made Local, as part of their flagship shopping event in the Vinyl Factory, Soho from the 4th to the 6th of December. We’ll also be bringing one of our Adanas and offering to let people have a go at making their own customised notebooks, ideal for a personalised present!

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Cockpit Arts Open Studios Holborn · 26 – 29 Nov
Thurs 6pm-9pm, 

Fri, Sat & Sun 11am-6pm
Cockpit Yard, Northington St, London, WC1N 2NP
Tubes: Holborn, Chancery Lane & Russell Square
Maps, directions & access info ›

Etsy Made Local: London
Friday 4th of December Preview night: 4pm – 8pm
Saturday 5th of December: 10am – 8pm
Sunday 6th of December: 11am – 6pm
The Vinyl Factory, Soho
51 Poland St
London W1F 7LZ
Map, directions & access info

A Big Thank You

Events & Competitions, London Design Festival

And a hearty handshake to everyone who came along to our Letterpress Workshop in Fortnum & Mason as part of the London Design Festival. It was a roaring success with vast crowds of people turning up to see the presses in action and have a go pulling prints, as well as plenty of unsuspecting shoppers drawn in by the sight and sound of a working Cropper Charlton Peerless. There were several days where we had queues of up to twenty people lining up to try their hand on the little Adana 8×5. Our trusty print counter showed that almost 1000 people made a personalised notebook over the week and no one lost their fingers either!

For those of you who couldn’t make it there are some photos of our set-up;

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We are now firmly ensconced back in our normal, turps-scented, ink-stained studios, and so too is the Peerless. It’s rather strange to be away from printing for such a long stint but fear not; we are back in action and have a number of Thrilling Developments we are working on at the moment.