Fluid Ink Fine Letterpress of Australia

Davina and her presses.
All inks are hand mixed using Pantone formulas
Vintage wood type and type ads
Fluid Ink Letterpress studio
Red tree of life letterpress print

Whats the big deal about letterpress anyway?

Letterpress is fine, unique and it has soul.

Letterpress is the graphic design equivalent of slow food - incredibly labour intensive and demanding of skill and patience. When you discover a letterpress piece, there’s something different about it. It was touched by human hands, it is tactile, you can see and feel the indentation the letters and ink leave in the paper and you will fall in love with its quality. It leaves a mark on the paper like no other process today can, and its quality will leave a mark on you heart.

Fluid Ink prints letterpress coasters, greeting cards, gift tags and invitations onto cotton paper and recycled card stock using photopolymer plates, vintage illustrated blocks and moveable wood & metal type.

I discovered letterpress around the same time I discovered ETSY! Its visual appeal sparked an interest and fervent web research lead to an available press and in a moment of 'OMG THIS IS WHAT I WAS MEANT TO DO!' I made it mine!

I’m extremely lucky to be able to work from a home studio. This allows me to operate at odd hours to accommodate my awesome family’s needs. I have 2 presses – A Golding Pearl #3 (‘Mavis’) built in Boston USA in 1892 and our main workhorse ‘The Admiral’ a 1913 Chandler and Price. I mix all of my inks by hand from my library of base inks, using Pantone formulae. The appeal is being hands on, messy and sometimes quite physical.

Printing something new is always a happy surprise. The digital versions can only hint at how the final letterpress versions may turn out when printed in a solid oil based colour, pressed into cotton paper. Having customers pick up their bespoke letterpress pieces is both a nervous and wonderful experience. Watching them see their invitations/stationery for the first time is very rewarding. For me, to be able to make a sale to a stranger that has searched through hundreds of cards and concluded that one of mine is their perfect choice, is an astonishing honor.

With a passion for Indi design and a commitment to conquer the ‘work – life balance’ plus appearances in markets and 'Montage Collective Pop Up shops' in Perth, as well as being a team leader for the ETSY WA street team, and organising ETSY events such as 'ETSY Craft Parties' and 'Something Different artisan market' in November 2015, life is certainly busy but full!

The cotton/paper pulp papers I use are all FSC certified.
Our tree-free paper: Crane’s Lettra are 100% cotton
Our coaster paper is 100% post-consumer waste recycled
The Kraft envelopes are * PCF – Post Chlorine Free – paper made from recycled fibre that’s not been re-bleached with any chlorine based bleach, and 100% post-consumer waste recycled

We use low-VOC and citrus-based solvents.

The paper scraps are re used for sample prints or as tabs for lining up the press. The vintage tools are all salvaged form around the world.

My polymer plated are purchased from Boxcarpress. For every platemaking order over $100, a tree is planted via American Forests. Old disused plates are posted back to be recycled.

For every ‘I knew you had it in you’ card sold, we donate .20c to the Princess Margaret foundation. <>

Working as ambassadors to the hand made by opening pop up shops like Montage, has given me an opportunity to see that WA retail is embracing artisan, hand crafted goods within a setting usually reserved for the big high street names. Local collectives have gathered strong followings and their artisan goods are not at odds with their mass produced counterparts, rather, they sit amongst them, not to compete but to co-exist.

Wile I am a printer and designer - illustrator I am NOT! So - I love to collaborate with talented illustrators and source many graphics from across the globe. Since starting this printing career, the variety of talented locals I have discovered in Perth alone has been amazing. That I can reach out and suggest a collaboration, take on board a suggestion from friends and family about a design or commission an illustration for a new series, even print onto another ESTY sellers hand made paper, make my range diverse and unique.

To constantly collaborate I hope to foster an environment where the opportunity to create and produce from home studios across the state is a viable source of income, and educate the population so that buying hand crafted goods is the norm rather than the exception, enhancing the rich tapestry of shopping choices on offer.
Davina F
owner, maker, designer, curator
Davina started her adult life as a primary music teacher, dove into graphic design paused her career for mothering and found her way into printing. A love of stationery, vintage machinery and quiet hard work made letterpress a perfect match.

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