Hidden in the leafy suburbs of Melrose...
...there is a hidden place.
A place where iron giants of letterpress...
and the delicate gems of bookbinding...
enjoy their semi-retirement.

Custodians of Ancient Crafts and Apparatus

With backgrounds in corporate and industrial worlds, nothing to do with printing binding or even design, this new project was always going to be an ambitious undertaking. 

Over time the beauty and romance of the forgotten trades took over our lives and became largest collection of bookbinding and printing tools and apparatus in South Africa. Various equipment was sourced/saved anywhere from roof of old print shop in central Joburg to mielie field in Mpumalanga, from a private collector in Pretoria to a third generation printer in Cape Town (who did not have heart to scrap his heirloom) and countless other places in between. Many pieces came to us in horrible state and indeed some had to be scrapped, but the great majority has responded quite well to elbow grease and nearly everything that is housed in our collection is fully operational. 

We have meet many people on this journey who were instrumental in granting us the knowledge of history and skills. However, we meet many more who were more than keen to receive the same knowledge from us. We thank you all for your encouragement and enthusiasm. You made it worthwhile for us. 

After five years of building, learning, saving, collecting, restoring, and trying to earn enough to make the collection sustainable, we had to pause and take count of what we have achieved, and more importantly where see ourselves in few years’ time. 

Watch this space. 🙂

r