Kitty Come Home
So today “Kitty” moved house, in other words our lovely, very heavy cast iron printing press (made from a converted mangle and named after Kitty Wilkinson ) came to its new home at the Art Room on Rose Lane. More correctly it should now be seen as the Art Rooms, in the plural, since we have annexed the store room next to Paul’s original teaching space as our new print room. The new addition is not a huge space but it is a definite expansion of our resources and will allow us to run with the momentum we had started to build up over our Biennial residency in Saint John’s Market.
We started at 9 this morning and our heroic friend Gary, (who has helped us in the background with the logistical side of making things happen since we started printing) arrived with his van. The back of Saint John’s toward the freight lifts was the workings of the old market where deliveries would have, at one time in its hey day been frantic and constant. There are 4 lifts but these quieter days only one is needed and operational. It is very different in this back-stage area not meant for customers with an austere feel like an abandoned Soviet state hospital. I had to stop to take some photos before we left…
With Gary taking the brunt of the heavy lifting and Paul and I working very hard we managed to get all of the kit, including the plan chest and materials cupboard, tables and chairs and a tonne of print kit across the city to its new home. Paul, Liz and I then reassembled the press and emptied the room of various dumped junk including 5 broken vacuum cleaners and set up the new print extension as a baby brother to the Art Room proper. Print days will soon be on Sunday and Friday afternoons with a possibility of Thursdays too, if there is demand. We’ve had great fun over the summer working at Saint John’s and will miss the lovely Italian cafe and its excellent cakes, easy access to Wilkinsons and Ryman’s for printing handouts and lots of other benefits, but today felt like a big step up and it felt like coming home.