Samantha (Sam) Fray is a qualified graphic designer who has mastered the centuries-old craft of letterpress printing. Ever since her kindergarten limited her to drawing just 5 pictures a day because she was depleting their craft supplies, Sam (and those around her) knew she was destined to become a designer.
Having completed her design degree as computers were emerging, Sam learnt the traditional hands-on, non-digital methods of design that involve paper, inks, markers, screen printing, photography and type setting.
But, technology changes rapidly and it wasn’t long before Sam found herself in a commercial design role sitting behind a computer. All the while, she yearned to get back to the tactile ‘raw’ mediums and techniques that lead her to pursue a career in graphic design in the first place.
A decade or so ago, Sam stumbled across a letterpress-printed invitation in an international magazine and became instantly hooked. She set about finding and restoring vintage machines and learning how to use them. In 2014, despite a crazy schedule, Sam decided to enrol in a printing apprenticeship so she will soon be a qualified printer!
WOOD DUCK STYLE
Sam believes that selecting a designer / printer is like buying artwork.
If a designer is true to themselves they will design from the heart and have their own individual style. Wood Duck Press is earthy, rustic and inspired by the picturesque environment that surrounds the studio.
Chandler and Price Old Style. Born 1909.
Harold was my first press and is my most treasured possession. I restored him from a rusty old piece of steel to the handsome machine he is today using ALOT of elbow grease.
I named Harold after my uncle Harold. My parents had been convinced that I was going to be a boy so they hadn’t bothered choosing a girl’s name. A few weeks after I was born I still remained nameless. Uncle Harold started calling me Samantha, which is how I got my name. So, I thought it only fitting that I name my most treasured possession after him.
Chandler and Price Old Style 7 x 11. Born 1905.
Weighing a massive 240 kilos she is the baby of the bunch. I discovered her one sunday afternoon in a factory alleyway in the back streets of Collingwood. Rusty, neglected and hidden by overgrown ivy. She caught my eye and become another labour of love. She keeps me fits and loves printing business cards.
Vandercook Universal III (proofing press). Born 1960.
I use Cookie for packaging and posters. Vandercook recently celebrated 100 years an this is a very special and sought-after printing press. There are only a handful of these presses in Australia. I’m really lucky to have this one!