Ampersand Duck

Antill Street
1 plus a heap of people who come to play
Free-falling through the space left by the demise of Australian private presses, Ampersand Duck is an art-oriented letterpress imprint that produces work across the spectrum of book arts and fine press work. &Duck makes work independently and collaborative, always with a sense of fun and purpose.
Fingered, 2011. Monotyped letterpress print.
Fingered, 2011. Monotyped letterpress print.
Sky, 2011. Broadside: Peter McLean (images) and Brian Turner (poem).
Sky, 2011. Broadside: Peter McLean (images) and Brian Turner (poem).
Dream Queen, 2011. Monotyped block print with letterpress.
Dream Queen, 2011. Monotyped block print with letterpress.
Vocal, 2010. Poster with collage.
Vocal, 2010. Poster with collage.
Interview with Caren from Ampersand Duck
When did you start letterpress printing?: 
In 1995, when I started art school. I haven't managed to stop.
What do you like best about letterpress printing?: 
It's dirty and clean at the same time. It's also like a big jigsaw puzzle with no rules.
What inspires you?: 
Words. Poetry. Music. Making it tangible.
Which press(es), ink & paper do you usually use?: 
I have a great home studio containing a Vandercook SP-20 and a tabletop Adana 5x8, and one day I want an iron hand-press like an Albion or a Columbian. I try to stay away from platen presses; I like my fingers too much! I have a pretty good collection of metal and wood type and use it more than polymer, which I can use if I have to; I find polymer more satisfying for images than for text. The best part of printing with type is that you can tweak it as you go, so it's a living, growing process that then packs away without a trace except for the printed product. With polymer it's all over bar the placement once you've designed it, and you're left with lots of plates afterwards. I'll work on any paper that comes to hand with a variety of inks to suit the situation. I also have very helpful studio cats who keep the space nice.
How would you describe your artwork?: 
What kind of products do you create?: 
Anything except wedding invitations.
Do you offer custom work?: 
Where can we buy your products?:
Do you offer workshops? If yes, what kind of?: 
I teach bookbinding for artists, artistic bookbinding for non-artists, letterpress for anyone, how to make zines... I also collaborate a lot and will help people with their own projects in my studio.
Is there anything you wished you had known as a beginner?: 
That you don't have to use toxic products to clean everything in the studio. That cats help. That the best thing to have in your working space is a packet of baby-wipes to get your hands clean in an instant.
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