In the beginning
I love printing, getting hands on and inky and being creative is something I have loved since I was a child. Getting older nothing much has really changed, I would still much rather be playing on a printing press with some type or cutting a lino block than sitting in front of a computer designing.
So, 15 years into my career I now have a lot of old printing stuff that has been collected along the way, sometimes from interesting places such as old cow barns! During this time I have learnt how to restore printing presses through the need to as I have never purchased a printing press in perfect condition. This learning process has been long and rewarding, though sometimes painful!
Over more recent years of my career I have spent much time teaching people the joys of printing, letting people get hands on with my collection of type and presses. These workshops take place not only in my workshop by the sea but I also take my presses out and about to a variety of different locations so people can have a go.
When you take a printing press out of a workshop to teach you realize one thing really quickly – old printing presses are really heavy!
For a long time I have thought about having lighter presses which could be carried around easily. In 2019 I built a custom small printing press I call my Franken Press as it is made out of loads of old stuff and scrap I had in the workshop. In retrospect the Franken Press is my first concept of the F-Press though I did not know that at the time.
All was looking good going into 2020 then Covid 19 pretty much ruined everything I have been working on, all workshops and teaching had to be canceled. Due to my wife’s pre-existing medical conditions we were told to shield so the workshops doors closed and I (like a lot of us) thought long and hard about – What is the future?
I kept thinking about how do I print with people in a Covid 19 socially distanced world?
Workshops are quite lively and interactive events where people often crowd around the press! So it came to me wouldn’t it be great to have small easy to transport presses, so that rather than having 1large press you could have many smaller ones so that everyone could be printing at the same time. Also I thought it would be great to make something practical that would mean anyone could have a printing press at home as not everyone is lucky enough to have a workshop. This would also mean I would be able to offer online workshops anywhere to anyone.
With this in mind I set to work designing and making. I learned about how to design in 3D and how to use and work 3D printers / CNC machines. I followed my usual process of designing and making but this time with these new ways of manufacturing in mind.
After much trial and error, designing and re-designing, I came up with the F-Press.
The final F-Press is designed to be easy, fun, useable and light. To comfortably take an A4 piece of paper for printing and to be useable with lino printing along with letterpress, and weights in at around 4kg.
During the design process I really loved that the press could be recognizable as a printing press but be so dramatically different looking through the use of 3D printing and the bright colours.
Then I started sharing images of the prototype on my instagram stories and on facebook, I was surprised by the amount of positive feedback and messages received from people saying how they would love to have a press and asking if I am selling them?
This really got me thinking about what was possible, what could I do and how many people I could reach through this new development.
So, I took this feedback and ran with it…
I want to build a short edition of the F-Press. I plan to build all the presses in house not relying on other companies to build my creation. This is going to take investment as this is a new business for me. Depending how much is raised there are different things I can and will do. With the target raised I will have the basic money to invest in upgraded equipment and make the presses ordered. With a stretch target (which would be amazing) I would be able to really invest in vastly superior equipment and spend much more time working on new concepts and how I can move this new business forward and how I can develop both as an artist and as an educator. One idea is to create sets of F-Press kits that could be loaned out to schools for them to build and use with online live workshops.
The price of both the pre made and the kit F-Press’s includes shipping to the UK in the price.
For shipping outside of the UK there are two options for how to pay the additional shipping cost. Either make a second reward donation for the shipping required (please see rewards), or add the additional cost when completing payment as an additional donation eg for Europe kit F-Press = £250 + additional donation of £25 for shipping = £275 etc.
For shipping to the anywhere in the Europe please donate / make a 2nd reward donation of £25 when making payment.
For shipping to the USA & Canada please donate / make a 2nd reward donation of £60 when making payment.
If you are from a part of the world that is not mentioned please message me and I will see if I am able to ship to your country and how much shipping would cost, I could then add a reward with the correct fee or advise you as to which reward fee is appropriate for your country (if applicable).
With all transactions / donations any and all Country and local taxes (where applicable) are the responsibility of the donator and Tom Boulton holds no responsibility to pay any fees, fines or taxes owing.
Press on Greetings Card & Grand Ideas Notebook
F-Press Kit and F-Press Pre Built
Virtual 1 to 1 workshops