You know when you met an "old salt" and it makes your day happy and bright, and not only because it's 37 degrees out?
Phillip Everitt has been printing since 1963. He is thinking about retiring but he still has the most beautiful letterpress machines (4 of them!) in his little print shop at Whiteman Park.
We got given this golden piece of information from Chantelle's Mother-in-law and I was so excited about a Real Live Letterpress Printer in the state that I dragged Zac along before we started work on Friday.
He showed us his machines, he told us about how he used to print, before digital, before offset even. He turned on a Heidelburg for us so we could see and hear it at work. Amazingly elegant machine.
He showed us stock, metal plates and nylo plates. He showed us lead type and complained the those who made the plates could charge whatever they want because their product is so rare nowadays.
Phil was surprised that letterpress is making a comeback and the rate at which studios are opening on the east coast. He laughed when I asked about whether he runs classes and said he isn't allowed to have anyone in the shop because OC, HEALTH and SAFETY want to shut him down. All those moveable parts. How dangerous.
He was embarrassed to charge us his meagre fee for labour and was sorry that we have to source our own stock. We don't mind. We would do business with him in a heartbeat, he's the sort of person we hope to be when we are his age.
Gentle, passionate, content and dedicated to our life's work.