On a recent trip to the Manawatu I took time out to visit John and Allison Brebner who run an amazing print studio called Homeprint tucked away in a suburban street in Feilding.
'Amazing' because of the depth of letterpress printing equipment that has been accumulated by John and Allison since the 1970s. But this is no static museum of printing, Homeprint is a fully functioning and highly active print studio that specialises in letterpress printing, reflecting the couple's interest in all aspects of printing and book production. One such book they produced, Rachel McAlpine's and Michael Smither's Thirteen waves (1986) is included in the forthcoming exhibition Pressed Letters: Fine printing in New Zealand since 1975 which opens at City Libraries Peterborough on 30 August.
Homeprint is also well known up and down the country for the portable relief presses they produce known as the Yellow Press. School art departments and private printers throughout New Zealand have one these very simple yet effective presses on hand including the Christchurch Art Gallery's education department.
Being a self confessed cast iron printing press enthusiast I was in absolute awe of John's Imperial platen press which likely dates from around the 1830s. It still works effortlessly in lowering and raising the platen onto the type. The Imperial is a very rare hand-press and it was is a delight to see that it is still in regular use.