Introducing The Chuffed Store's first collaboration - The Chuffed Store
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Introducing The Chuffed Store’s first collaboration

We have commissioned the brilliant Claire Cartwright and The Letterpress Collective to design and print a beautiful set of notecards and envelopes especially for The Chuffed Store.  

 

 

I have always LOVED stationary so this collaboration has been a bit of a dream come true.

When building The Chuffed Store I really wanted creative collaboration to be part of the plan. 

I wanted to bring two creatives together to work on one project . We were excited by what would come of that: two creatives, two different artist mediums, coming together to make a delicious product just for us.

In early September I called Claire Cartwright and shared the idea of creating a line of stationary with her. She leapt at the challenge. Claire is the queen of shape and pattern, her designs are completely beautiful, I just knew she would create something really unique. From then on ideas were shared, mood boards were made and the ball was rolling. We settled on Lino cut as the print medium, a hand cutting method which would work well with the inky nature of the printing press.

Once the test designs were made and lockdown was lifted Claire and I finally managed to meet each other. I hopped on the bus from London to Bristol and we met on a busy street in the pouring rain! We went down the alley to  Centrespace – a cooperative of artists and craftspeople located in Bristol’s Old City. The home of Nick and Ellen at The Letter Press Collective. 

Without anyone really noticing, the last commercial letterpress printer shut its doors in Bristol in 2012 after maybe 600 years of continuous work in the city. Nick Hand saw a chance to learn from the last of the printers and compositors in the city so that a new generation can understand and learn the thrill of working a small press and seeing your creation in ink on paper.

Since 2013, The Letterpress Collective has been gathering beautiful wood and lead type as well as collecting amazing printing presses including a lovely Heidelberg Windmill Platen (winched out of the store MShed by dockside crane), a Stephenson Blake proofing press and a set of nice little Adana hand presses.

Printer Ellen Bills runs the presses for the wide range of projects that pass through the printshop and also the regular workshops and courses.

Finding The Letterpress Collective in Bristol was all part of this dream coming together. Two Bristol based creatives and one wonderful idea of making a unique range of handmade stationary. 

It was amazing how easily we slipped into working as a collaboration. The designs, shapes and colours, the traditional print process, the inky outcomes, and even down to the qualities of the card. We decided to use some beautiful card manufactured in Hull by the G F Smith, who have been in business for over 135 years. 

We chatted for hours that day, geeking out on paper and tucking into Nick’s jar of Tunnocks tea cakes. Claire and I learnt so much and completely loved it. We both came out of the meeting with huge respect for the process of printing on a traditional press. 

Claire worked her magic fine tuning the final designs and I enjoyed working with the colour combinations. By the end of the week we had put everything in place to hand over to Ellen and The Heidleburg press. There were a few hiccups along the way but we all worked together in a way that actually turned the problems into possibilities. 

 

I am so proud to present this collaboration to you. Our stationary is completely made by hand- from drawing the designs, cutting the lino, printing on the press and setting the type. We are especially excited about the stickers. The coloured envelopes come with a sticker set that have been printed and cut to bespoke shapes –  have fun customising your envelopes! The bold prints, contrasting colours and quality of the printing techniques have resulted in something really special.

As Claire says ” The results are magical and I cannot wait to share with everyone and sit down with a cuppa and write to my friends!”

Millie 

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