The Woodsman is Ben Short, a former advertising man who became disillusioned with life in the city, and decided to make a drastic change to get back to a simpler way of living. The desire of individuals to live in the woods has been chronicled before in such films as Into the Wild and Jack, and when the opportunity to document Ben’s story came up we jumped at the chance. Ben is a scholar of QEST, a charity that fosters artists and crafters that follow traditional methods. We’ve worked with QEST before, documenting the refurbishment of the Buckingham Palace Summerhouse in 2013.
As the morning sun breaks through popcorn cloud on Australia's most easterly point, soft infectious rhythms roll out of a small studio in the Byron Arts and Industry estate. Matching time to the bass beats of a reggae classic is the swoosh and rhyme of a 1963 printing press. At the helm of the press and its snapping jaw is Wayne Davis, stepping around the press with the dexterity and confidence that comes from over 26 years of playing this 1500kg instrument in the pursuit of highly tuned printing perfection.
As a leader of the letterpress revival in Australia, The Artisan Press has been playing the letterpress tune since 1999. Originally based in Lane Cove, Sydney the studio relocated to idyllic seaside Byron Bay in 2009 to escape the distractions of the city and allow us to focus on the intricacies of your work rather than traffic.
Our People The Artisan Press owner, Wayne Davis, is an award winning printer who served his apprenticeship in the 1980s with Australia’s leading music industry printer, Z. Nosek & Co., based in Waterloo. Wayne printed record covers, music packaging and posters under the watchful eyes of both a Dutch and an English Master Printer for major labels such as EMI, Mushroom, Studio 301, Warners, CBS, Virgin and indie labels such as Red Eye, Aberrant, Shock, Waterfront and many others.
Wayne's print background covers offset, letterpress, intaglio, screenprinting, digital, real pre-press (plate-making, screens, negatives), finishing and binding, photography, graphic design and typesetting. Also armed with a BA in Media Communication, he can move from hand-feeding a 110 year old printing press to recreating line art in Illustrator. The knowledge gained over 26+ years in the printing industry now has professionals and amateurs seeking information from Wayne about letterpress and assures you that at all times, your work is in the hands of an expert.