Closing date extended to Sunday April 10!
The 10Press Project
What is 10Press?
10Press is a local, collaborative letterpress print project that Commoners Press is running in 2022 with Moreland community members in Melbourne.
We are looking for 7 participants to collaborate with us at Commoners Press to develop a one or two colour artwork for printing. Apply by Sunday 10 April 2022 to be considered for the project!
- The work will be printed on our letterpress machines (at no cost to the participant) and exhibited later in the year.
- Each participant will receive 30 clean prints of their print project and a folio with printed works from all participants.
- Everyone is welcome and you do not need to know about letterpress printing to apply.
10Press was created with the support of Arts Moreland through their Flourish grants.
What kinds of participants are we looking for?
- Resident of, or based in Moreland for living or work or have another strong connection to Moreland.
- Happy to work with us to develop artworks that respond to the prompt.
- Diverse voices, ideas and concerns relating to Moreland are welcome.
- You don’t need to know about letterpress printing, we will walk you through it. For more information about the letterpress printing process see these references below.
How to apply
To apply, send an expression of interest including
- A visual sketch or visual first draft of your idea or concept (up to A4 in portrait orientation) that responds to the prompt (see below).
- A short statement about you and your connection to Moreland (e.g. you live here, work here or ... ? ).
- A short written response to the prompt (see below).
Submit your expression of interest by Sunday April 10 2022 by email.
Commoners Press is looking for visual works about
Moreland: Its creative future, its past or other hidden stories - in one or two colours.
Design or art work size: Anything up to A4 in portrait orientation. Submitted work should not bleed to, or past the edge of that size. If you have questions let us know.
Additional context: Renaming Moreland (Moreland Council)
The Commoners Press was formed in 2017 with the purchase of 3 traditional letterpress machines, one paper guillotine and various printing sundries (paper stock, printing ink and tools) from Ray, owner of Excell Press in Brunswick. Ray had bought them new in the 1960ies and sold them to us when he retired in 2017. He continued to show us how to operate these machines alongside Geoff White, a former pressman who completed his apprenticeship on the very same machines.
In January 2021 Commoners Press moved from Brunswick to Coburg North and is now part of Coburg Studios on Charles Street. A semi-trailer was required to transport this very heavy machinery.
About letterpress printing
What is letterpress printing?
Letterpress printing is a type of printing that uses raised plates or type to create prints. Letterpress printing is not as common these days but these presses are very well made, long lasting and finely engineered machines. For this project, we will be using our Heidelberg press and our Chandler & Price press. These presses are 60+ and 100+ years old respectively. They still work extremely well and are fun to use.
To see how our presses work, have a look at:
- Letterpress Printing Process with a Heidelberg Windmill (video)
- Operating a Chandler & Price Jobbing Press (video)
What kind of printing can be done with a letterpress machine?
Letterpress printing works well with line artwork, text and halftone images. It is not the same as digital printing because each colour has to be printed separately. As more colours are printed, it becomes more difficult to line up the colours perfectly (this is called registration). The colour of the paper stock that is used can also be a way to include more colour.
For this project, we are printing using photopolymer plates, which are plastic plates made from light sensitive resin.
For more on letterpress printing using photopolymer plates see these videos:
- A Fine Press - photopolymer plates for letterpress - Swan City Press (video)
- What is a Photopolymer Letterpress Plate? (video)
At the end of 2021, Commoners Press received a grant from Moreland Council to work with creative community participants and groups based in Moreland. The outcome of is the 10Press project and the plan is to develop works from the Moreland community to be printed by Commoners Press.