I'm in (letterpress) love

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It's finally happened. After years of wishing and hoping, I'm thrilled to say that there's a new arrival in the studio. Ladies and gentlemen, please say hello to Maude, my new (to me) antique printing press!

Isn't she a beauty? She's a Golding Improved Pearl #11, built in 1912 (so yes, she's 102 years old) in Franklin, Massachusetts, and weighing around 700lbs.

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The sights she must have seen in the past 100 years! She's travelled over an ocean at some point and she's showing some wear, but considering her age, she's in fabulous condition. There's definitely a lot of cleaning ahead, but she's in good working order.

And it seems, as with buses, that when you wait (what feels like) an eternity for a press two can come along at the same time! Thrown in as a freebie, alongside the lovely Maude, was this adorable Adana HS (High Speed) Number 2 press. Say hello to Millie!

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Again, some serious cleaning needed on this little cutie, but she's another great (unexpected) addition.

I'm so happy that these presses have found their way to my studio in Birmingham. I've been patiently impatiently waiting to make the leap and purchase my own antique press for a few years now, and it has been incredibly frustrating at times. There are a lot of presses out there on Ebay and other auction sites, but the bidding process has seen me priced out of so many sales. After all of the pain, it feels incredibly satisfying that the stars aligned, and the right press came along at the right time, at the right price. Hooray!

I must take this opportunity to send thanks out to Andrea at Inkwell Press, Rachel at Prickle Press, and Lyndsey at The Hunter Press, for their help and advice as I navigated the choppy waters of buying my first press. And also many thanks to Adrian and Stuart for selling me this wonderful iron beast, and to Giles for delivering her (and showing me how to put her back together).

Thanks for stopping by to say hello to Maude and Millie, the newest additions to the Sarah Phelps Creative family. I can't wait to get printing, but first I need to do some cleaning (there's nothing like getting your hands dirty!) and spend some time stocking up on printing supplies. I'll definitely share more photos as cleaning progresses, and as the first prints come off the press.

Long live print!