Analogue Playground In Foxton

Foxton, a small town located on the lower west coast of the North Island of New Zealand, was the 1st stop we made during our summer road trip this year. 

Our good friend, Anne’s parents, Jim and Sarah owned two historic buildings in Foxton main street. They had done an amazing restoration work for both buildings. One of them used to be Foxton Racing Club, part of it has now been converted into a modern living home. 

The other building next door is used to be the home of The Manawatu Herald, the first news publishing company in Foxton since the 1870s. When Jim and Sarah purchased the building, they inherited a great treasure of machines and tools from the era when letterpress printing technique was widely used. Jim keeps all these equipment along with his huge collection of musical artifacts in the building.

We are so grateful to be invited to visit this amazing space and have a go at letterpress printing. Here’s a little collection of images during the visit. 

One of Jim’s reverse glass painting artwork

Some old letterpress prints

Reglets - traditional “kerning” tool

A whole collection of type in the cabinet

some antique stamps

Original letterpress blocks of Tuatara logo

Vintage display window restored by Jim

choosing font for our letterpress experiment

Everyone helps to look for the right font

What about something small and delicate?

Yes, quite happy with this one!

Trying with different type of decorative border.

Things slowly fall into place.

Manually alignment technique.

Quoins - a locking tool used to hold type or bases snug on the press bed

Who wants to get dirty? Put on your uniform!

Put everything on the platen press.

Oil-based ink often use to protect wooden block.

Apply a thin and even layer of ink with a rubber brayer.


Our masterpiece!

We are all very stoked with the result!

Jim also owns a 130-year-old Dutch Street Organ

The Harpers

Using Format