What’s happening at Ruru Artisans

New Zealand has a fine tradition of art, prints, craft and many more high quality pieces. Ruru Artisans are a group of creative practitioners, that offer points of view with background stories of history of the making and the restorative processes of printing presses lying idle that are brought to life. Follow our stories and see what we are up to. Enjoy!

A little bit of fun

Supporting the design community For many years, we at Ruru Artisans have loved supporting the creative industries and the adoption of new technology through direct action and consulting. While publishing is still a big deal in New Zealand (though COVID offered challenges recently), take the period between 2000 and 2010, when people were asking if publishing and magazines would survive.…

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Hand painting onto prints

Sometimes we opt to add some colour to pieces by hand. In this case, the colours added are Windsor and Newton inks and highlight a small part of the pictures.…

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How we crease gift cards

We crease gift cards using the Squintani Model 5 treadle press. Each card is individually creased by hand and as you see in this short video, it is a quiet meditative process. Enjoy the video and take a little time out with the gentle roll, click, crunk of the treadle press.…

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IMPACT9 exhibition

We first attended the IMPACT9 Conference in 2015 which was hosted by the China Academy of Art, Hangzhou, China, and exhibited posters.…

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Korrex Berlin Special Hand breakdown

As any who run an older machine of any kind, there are challenges in keep them operational. So it was when we were about to start printing the Fennel series that instead of the satisfying whir of the inking drum motor, there was a single ominous click, then … nothing. …

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Lighting the way

The series presents a historical narrative that traces early contact between representatives of the British Crown, clergy associated with Church Missionary Society (based in London, England), and Māori chiefs of the far north of Aotearoa New Zealand of the early 1800s. The encounters occur prior to the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840 and illustrate how an influential…

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Limited Edition Publication

Stitch Binding with Exposed Spine: Designing, printing and making publications. When considering the writing and printing of dedicated texts, one of the features that we love to do is book design. With over thirty years of experience in content creation and design, we look carefully at the core of the writer’s intention. In this example, we created with copies that…

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Posters – Letterpress, Digital, and Laser technology

We love old and new technologies and experimenting with a mix of design and printing methods. So we take advantage of opportunities to show and see print works, which in this case led us to creating designs for the IMPACT9 conference and exhibition run by University of the West of England, Bristol. The IMPACT conferences are an international multi-disciplinary event…

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Printing the Summer Fennel series of prints on the Korrex

Printing of the limited print run of the Fennel series of prints on the Korrex Berlin Hand letterpress is a process we love. The press is a joy to work with and the results, on archive quality paper and colour fast inks will last the duration of time. These prints are available now… well, while stocks last anyway.…

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Printing the Tui and Duck pieces

As we have been sorting out various mechanical and technical issues, printing the bird series has been delayed for seems like forever. But this week, we have take off! The first off the press are the large Tui and Duck prints, which sport one colour so far.…

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Renovating the WH Pullan & Sons Proofing Press

TH Pullan & Sons were an engineering company in Glasgow that specialised in printing machinery and proof presses. They went into liquidation c.1906, so it is difficult finding any actual information about the company or their products. This press is a wonderful example of industrial revolution engineering. Fully hand crafted and even after years of misuse and neglect, is still…

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Reworking Existing Iconic Children’s Book

The Boy and the Taniwha: This reworked book design was exhibited at the Bodleian Library at the Oxford University, United Kingdom, and is catalogued in the feature publication Heroic Works, for the Designer Bookbinders International Competition 2017, edited by Jeanette Koch.…

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Squintani Model 5 treadle letterpress

There is something meditatively satisfying when manually treadling a small letterpress, feeding in and removing individual sheets.…

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Tae ki te toi: Colour in pre-European Māori art

In his paper, “On the fine perception of colours etc.”, William Colenso describes the use of colour by pre-European Māori from his first-hand experience of having met and observed the work of elderly Māori still alive at the time. The legacy he provides offers a rare glimpse into how ancient Māori created and used colour, shape, and texture for various…

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TH Pullan & Sons proof press test

It is always exciting making something work that was destined for the scrap heap. In this post, we test the now operational Pullan proofing press.…

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TH Pullan & Sons Proofing Press rescue

Some time ago, we were contacted about an old etching press that was about to be sent to scrap. It had been in use for many years at the Epsom Teacher’s College in Auckland, New Zealand but had since been moved around and left out in the elements as a piece of “visual art”. Not really knowing if we could…

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The Korrex Berlin Special Hand letterpress

The Korrex Berlin Hand letterpress proofing press exemplifies German engineering. Made in the 1970’s at Max Simmel Maschinenfabrik, in Berlin, Germany, the Korrex press even now runs as smooth as silk.…

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