15 September 2013

Studio Visit: GTO Printers

Yesterday I visited Graham Judd at GTO Printers, a small specialist printing company
situated in Birkenhead, on the North Shore of Auckland.

GTO offer unique print capabilities not found in many other printing businesses,
such as traditional letterpress and thermographic printing.
Saturday isn't a usual work day for Graham,
however, about once a month Graham offers a workshop in letterpress at GTO.

Graham Judd, the owner, trained as a letterpress machinist, then retrained on offset.
He started GTO Printers about 20 years ago, and is the General Manager,
yet you can see his passion and enthusiasm for the craft of printing.

Graham show a student how to match ink colours:
select the PMS swatch that you want to mix,
make the recipe using the %s by weight
(this requires having the correct ink colours,
but is a good general guideline regardless) 

GTO Printers have 4 Adana 8x5 printing machines
which are ideal for printing cards and invitations
- a great tabletop model for a small studio

In the morning students explore Graham's eclectic collection
of lead and wood type and ornaments
to print a range of experiments and practice inking

Here's an unusual find in Graham's collection:
a vintage font with separate outline and fill sorts
(I've not seen these sorts before)

During the afternoon session, workshop participants
can produce a set of personal cards of their own design

Graham's Albion (recently returned from being loaned to the local library).
This students print had an uneven result (one side heavy, other side light),
so Graham showed us how to level the pressing height
by placing a piece of type under each corner and tightening the bolts. 

...a basic cylinder press for proofing...
I love how the paper is registered
using the clip from a clipboard - Genius!
I'll have to remember that one.

Much of GTO's commercial letterpress work is done on the Heidelberg 10x15 platen

Graham holds a poster by Tara McLeod,
showing that letterpress is also great for large works

A sample of a card made by Kim
from Passion For Paper

Kim's card used fluorescent red ink
with thermographic powder
to create the raised metallic gold sheen.
I'd never seen this process done in person,
so that was a great learning experience for me too!

Graham has a collection of videos in YouTube which show the processes.
If you are interested, you can see them here:
click here to see GTO Printers' YouTube Channel

If you're interested in doing a letterpress workshop
I think Graham has a Christmas card workshop planned for November.
Or get a group of 4 people and see if you can book your own lesson?
Click here to see GTO's website for more details about the workshops,
or Email Graham or phone 09 480 0218

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