So our little studio family of 1 tonne beasts has grown, again! Over the weekend we heave-ed and hoo-ed (Okay I heave-ed a tiny bit and Mr H hoo-ed a whole lot) a great new piece of cast iron into the studio.
In was a bit of serendipity how we came across this new beast. A few weeks back the Brisbane weekend newspaper arranged to come take a photo of me in the studio, so I forgot, the photographer arrived and I looked horrendous. I stood awkwardly, he took his photos and that weekend, the photo was blown up across one and half spreads of the newspaper and I died of embarrassment and decided never to mention this again. But then that week I got a call from a lovely fella called John (funny enough, two of our other beasts have come from men called John), he called, said lovely work, I've got some old letterpress stuff if you are interested.
Now for those of you who have visited the studio, you would have seen that we've already got lots of stuff, and not much space left. So we went to go see John, we didn't get to see all of his stuff as he has more stuff then he can handle and can no longer get into his shed (story of a letterpress fanatic over and over again), but he did have a 1950's beast of a guillotine that needed a new home - a Polygraph Perfecta, the rolls royce of the guillotining world back in the day.
So we contemplated it, we've already got a much smaller guillotine but had been saying we needed to upgrade for some time. So we stood in the studio, measured spaces and figured out that if we dismantled my FAVOURITE old school table and popped it in storage we might just have the space for one more one tonne beast. It would be a sacrifice, as I love this table, but how could we say no to a piece of 1950's german cutting mastery.
So on the weekend, off we went with a car trailer, two engine hoists and a lot of will power to heave this beast. It was a two day adventure, the guillotine was dismantled, moved in parts and then reassembled again.
In passing I mentioned to John that we had given our presses names. Last time I mentioned this to the seller of a press we bought, he thought I was crazy, but John totally understood and said that he had always called the guillotine Brute, but she was most definitely a girl. I was quite glad to hear that she was a one tonne girl, as that evens up our male/female relationship in the studio. Charlie and Herbie are the boys, and our new "Brute" would be joining Helga in the female side of things. But the lovely guillotine - and it is quite lovely, seemed a little too pretty to be called Brute, so we have called her Polly instead.
The guillotine is all hand operated pulling release levers, pulling down clutches and then cranking the wheel to get her into action - the good old fashioned way, just the way we like it.