2014 June

The summer solstice has passed, the sun is shining and the air is warm. As we pass Park Frankendael in the East of Amsterdam, we hear the birds chirping and take in the sweet smell of the wildflowers in the fields. We finally arrive at the location of the Grafisch Werkcentrum Amsterdam. Hidden in a row of warehouses, it’s like a secret waiting to be told. Eager to dive into the traditional craft of printmaking, we step inside …

MAKERS: Maartje van den Noort, Wiek Molin PHOTOGRAPHY: Marjon Hoogervorst WORDS: Margot van der Krogt, The Makers Amsterdam


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The summer solstice has passed, the sun is shining and the air is warm. As we pass Park Frankendael in the East of Amsterdam, we hear the birds chirping and take in the sweet smell of the wildflowers in the fields. We finally arrive at the location of the Grafisch Werkcentrum Amsterdam. Hidden in a row of warehouses, it’s like a secret waiting to be told. Eager to dive into the traditional craft of printmaking, we step inside.

The space is bright and our eyes are immediately drawn to the impressive machines that occupy it – theEickhoff Proefpers, Kniehevel Stanspers, Weiler Handdegel, Etspers Eygelshoven… We feel as though we have stepped back in time to 1910. As we survey the room, we notice the wooden letters that line the back wall and the posters hung to celebrate the work of the print shop’s many makers and creators. We’re welcomed by MAKER Wiek Molin, graphic designer, teacher, and initiator of the Grafisch Werkcentrum Amsterdam. With a passion for traditional printmaking and printing techniques, Wiek founded the print shop to this heritage and introduce people to the crafts that are rooted so deeply in the graphic design history of the Netherlands. He has succeeded in passing on his knowledge to a younger generation.

As an artist drawn to graphic design and illustration, MAKER Maartje van den Noort was inspired to learn the old techniques of printmaking upon a visit to the Grafisch Werkcentrum Amsterdam two years ago. With a creative approach to the old techniques and materials, Maartje continues to experiment and search for new solutions, creating beautiful new works of art. She invites us to have a go.

 It’s our turn. We carefully open the drawers filled with lead and wooden letters to create words, sentences and quotes of our own. We line our letters and place sheets of paper over them, turn the creaky old levers and watch with awe as the paper disappears under the copper cylinders of the letterpress machines. As we continue to turn the levers, the paper reappears, and once we flip them over, watch as our words appear. MAKE, SIMPLY & SLOW, LIFE & LEMONS…  Again and again, we assemble our letters, push them through the press, and reveal our artworks to each other with pride. We hang them like festive flags along the drying rack. At the end of the afternoon, we leave with our artworks under our arms, and a greater appreciation for these old machines and traditional crafts.

With love,
SIMPLY SLOW

Copyrights:
The copyrights of the images are with Marjon Hoogervorst.
The images have been photographed with care for SIMPLY SLOW.
Please keep this in mind and treat them the same, thank you.