From here things happened rather quickly. I flew to Malmö to meet the press owners and find out what was going on. Lisbeth explained that her father Börje had run a printing business from his basement, he had recently passed away and he had wanted the equipment to go to a good home. It was too new to put in a museum and too old run commercially so there was a risk of it going for scrap.
By now I had started to form a plan of what I wanted to achieve. I had been to see Simon Goode at the LCBA and found the concept wonderful! Also i had been welcomed at the stone carvers lunch in Saxmundham organised by Harriet Frazer and seen how a simple concept could have impressive results. My idea then was a manual graphics centre. Using graphic design as a starting point but focusing on manual processes and tactile outcomes. Lisbeth approved and asked when I could collect everything. So I flew to Åland, collected a van + my brother and drove 700km to collected a van full of type and drove back. The following week we drove down again but this time with a van and a lorry & crane. We managed to get everything out except the Cylinder Press which was too heavy and too difficult for beginners. A local specialist helped pack it and was delivered later by courier.
Spring 2013 I decided that basically things were not good. Something had to change.
After a lot of thought I decided that what I liked about my work were the hand-made aspects. How could this be incorporated more in to my context? I decided to look into letterpress as it offered a breadth of use and seemed like an accessible starting point.
Helen Ingham was my first port of call. Helen was a wonderful, she whisked me round the new Central Saint Martins letterpress facilities and then gave me a list of names and in particular recommended Richard Lawrence. So I went to visit him in Oxford. Richard proved it was possible, he showed me beautiful projects he was working on and gave small hints on practice: do some work for money and do some work for your soul.
After this, I decided I had found a good direction. I made a plan: Take two years, collect contacts, experience and equipment. Transcend from a digital graphic design environment to a manual one. Go slow, be patient.
Graham Bignell was kind enough to offer me a space in his studio for the summer where I re-acquainted myself with the working method, met some wonderful wonderful people and was very happy.
Then one day, I received a phone call from Sweden one of my contacts, Mats Larson at Gramus had found me some equipment and might I be interested? Yes of course I said! The equipment was in Malmö, Sweden and turned out not to be a couple of cases of type but an entire printers.
So out went the two year plan.