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A Moveable feat 

Kyle Durrie brings her mobile print shop across North America, with a stop in Halifax this weekend. Julie Sobowale stops the presses.

click to enlarge Get in the van: Mobile printing for the masses.
  • Get in the van: Mobile printing for the masses.

The indents made from the type. The bumps across the paper. The musky smell of the workshop. For those who love letterpress, printing is more than what people do for school or work. It's an adventure.

Kyle Durrie is on a fun journey with Moveable Type, a mobile print shop built into her truck. Her letterpress printer will be arriving in Halifax on September 23 with various events at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and Inkwell Modern Handmade Boutique & Letterpress Studio.

Moveable Type began in 2010 in Durrie's hometown of Portland, Oregon. As a letterpress printer, she was intrigued by the history of printing and travel. Durrie, who owns Power and Light Press in Portland, retrofitted a 1982 Chevy into a personal print shop, using Kickstarter to garner funding support from the letterpress community. It was through Kickstarter that Andrea Rahal found Durrie.

Rahal loves letterpress printing. She helped fund Durrie's trip and convinced her to come to Halifax. Rahal's enthusiasm shows in her new shop, Inkwell Modern Handmade Boutique & Letterpress Studio. The store---filled with handmade prints, beautiful artwork and elegant greetings cards---showcases the beauty of letterpress. Rahal's prize pieces are the presses. She owns a small hand press from the 1950s and an antique large press circa 1920, both originally from Massachusetts. "Letterpress is very attractive," says Rahal. "People like the look and feel of the paper."

Rahal opened her shop four months ago. After graduating from NSCAD in 2004 with a graphic arts degree, she returned to school in 2009 for a one-week intensive course in letterpress. "I love the deep bite in the paper," says Rahal. "I love to physically see the imprint in the paper. There's something great about the clear and simple designs."

Inkwell, along with the Dawson Printshop, will be the sites of hand-printing demonstrations during Nocturne. Visitors will be able to use the presses at both sites to create a collaborative sample. Rahal hopes to bring in new people interested in letterpress. "There's a greater appreciation for the letterpress," she says. "I've had great support."



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