Hot off the Heidelberg Press

Hot off the Heidelberg Press

Hi there

Thanks for popping in. Friday’s Blog a private peek, right? Well, when you run a family business, work and play are so often inextricably linked. As is the case here, with Dave.

You may recall that a while ago, he bought a Windmill Press – a Heidelberg Platen Press, to be precise. Did I tell you he went and bought a second one? Yep! We’ve got not one, but TWO of these huge, beautiful vintage printing machines.

We bought the first one back in January 2019, because we had a plan…

The plan was a new company called Pinky Gray. We wanted to build an art company, an online gallery-shop, where we could sell finished art, printed cards, framed pieces – the list is endless!

Then it all kicked off at Hochanda, a number of key suppliers left without warning, and we decided to park our Pinky Gray plans, step into the breach and help them keep going.

The Heidelberg Press was wrapped up in cotton wool, together with the brand new registered company, while we focussed our energy elsewhere. But Dave and I never let go of our Pinky Gray vision. Dave in particular has been chipping away at it. Quietly and without fuss, he has been building quite a formidable print room around the Platen press – walls, electric and insulation included!

When Dave figured out that they are not only printers but mahoosive die cutting machines too, he decided to invest in a second one – just for die-cutting.

What you see here, is the second one, the older, more loved one, cutting out hundreds of stocking shaped cards, to go in our Linda Williams Christmas Stocking kits. Look closely….

Believe it or not, you bought hundreds – nay, thousands – of these in the Half Price Sale! And even more Christmas Trees!! So the Windmill Press is in full swing!


I’ve got to hand it to him. Dave has figured this out all by himself. Amazing really. And after much tweeking and oiling, replacing old parts with newer parts, he has worked out, not only how to cut out shapes, but also score the folds. The potential is very exciting.

Now he’s cracked the code on this one, he’s already got his eye on the other, the better looking one. That one is for printing. And this will be epic.

Working out how these antique printing machines work is Dave’s obsession. This is to him what pottery is to me.

So when you order anything from Clarity and it comes with a cut out shape, now you know the rest of the story. Not made in China, not subbed out elsewhere. Nope. The cut out shapes all come from our little Pink Gray print shop in Edenbridge. And the best part is that they are cut out on an original, all singing, all dancing, all swinging Heidelberg press – by Dave.

Where did we get the name for our new company? Looked out of the bedroom window one morning. And there it was, in all its glory.

I clicked this pic early this morning actually, but from the same window…

Watch this space. More will be revealed….

Stay safe.

Love and Hugs,

Barb xxx

70 thoughts on “Hot off the Heidelberg Press

  1. Seriously so exciting for you. Your business is really all about you and your creativity(including Dave here). So refreshing to know you literally have your hands in the business. They quality is genuine. So happy to know that product aren’t coming from somewhere other than your own machines!!! How fun is this! Continued success and creations….thanks for keeping us inspired and safe💗

  2. Aw how fabulous to have these old machines working again . A big well done to Dave and best wishes for Pinky Gray . Xxx

  3. I love how you always come up with the perfect solution and the name is even better!!!
    I did notice it on the back of the beautiful postcards we’ve been getting in our orders recently!
    Good luck with this latest venture.
    Lots of love. Xxxxxx

  4. How wonderful, well done Dave!
    The photo is brilliant, what a sky. All good wishes to Pinky Grey for the future.
    Clarity is a terrific family of enthusiasts, at Edenbridge and in the Shac Shack where we all look forward to meeting up with you and Paul.
    Best of luck Barbara and thanks for your time, so freely given and so much appreciated by so many of us. Jean x

  5. I wondered who/what Pinky Gray was as it is the name on those lovely postcards that come with oyr lovely parcels. What an exciting adventure to be on. Well done and Good luck with all the new ventures.

  6. Great to see Dave getting so involved and to know that these products are being made in the Clarity style. It is so nice to hear that the older machines are still being used, they made them to last then, not like today’s built in redundancy.
    I worked for 28 years for a family owned Ice cream cone manufacturing company and the best cones came from 75+ year old machines which were lovingly maintained by our engineers. The new machines bought as the company grew were good but we loved the old’uns best.
    I envisage lots more exciting things coming from your machines.
    Have a good weekend.

  7. How wonderful! Thanks for sharing, that’s partly why Claritystamp feels more like family. The machines look so cool!
    I’m sure pinky Gray will be a roaring success too

  8. Wow, another business, as if you’re not busy enough. Huge congratulations to you and Dave. Look forward to hearing more about your new venture. Xx

  9. How husband’s cousin had one of these, he loved it to bits, far better than all his computerised machines. Sadly he died when he was 50, we tried everything for someone to take it on, no money involved, just for someone to take care if it, use it and love it, sadly, it wasn’t to be, and it had to go to scrap, the heartbreaking bit was having to break it up to get it to the scrspyard. Glad that Dave is fathoming them out. What beautiful machines they are. Xx

  10. So excited for you both. I worked for ten years as a reprographer which I thought was pretty clever but these machines you have are something else, I would love to operate one of these.

  11. Ooh! Very exciting news Barbara 😀 looking forward to hearing more about this, as time goes on. Dave must be so happy to be doing this. Love and hugs to you both, Gilly xx

    1. P.S. I knew I had seen Pinky Gray somewhere- I have just been to check ✔ yes, it’s on those lovely uplifting cards that you have been sending out with our orders ❤ xxxx

  12. Ooooooh, that’s a bit spooky, Barbara!! My online screen name has been ‘Pinky’ for nearly 20 years (it was my first cat’s name)!
    What an exciting venture you’re undertaking – ‘With brave wings fly’
    Love and hugs
    Debbie xxx

  13. Exciting times Barbara,thank you for sharing with us. If good wishes were enough to get the company started and up and running then you have them in abundance. Looking forward to hearing your next step
    Love Jenny x

  14. This is brilliant. I’m all for buying all things British and by supporting companies such as yours, I feel I am doing my bit…… Thankyou and well done Dave!!! PS Thankyou for sending my Members Sale order so quickly – now I’m off for a playtime x Beryl Sheppard

  15. Hi Barbara,
    Well done this brings back many years i can remember when i used to work for printing company the Heidelberg’s worked all round the clock.
    Happy memories .
    Well done to you both.
    Looking forward to seeing whats next .
    Lynn xx

  16. I have not bought any of the shaped cards yet but give me time. I remember showing Fred your original photo of the press, he knew what it was straight away. Can’t take the engineer out of him. Well done Dave. New company sounds interesting. X X

  17. How lovely to see that he machine in motion- just relaxing to watch . Well done Dave. Good luck to Pinky Grey! Dave must love tinkering and how great when it all comes together! Look forward to hearing more xx

  18. That is marvellous! Well done Dave! Was only saying to hubby, that people should get things made in the uk instead of going overseas, especially as it’s all costing so much now to get it here! Love seeing the old machines back in use too! Much better than just pressing the computer button!!!

  19. Barbara you and Dave deserve every success with your ventures, lovely to know where the items are made and that they are made in the UK, the quality of your products is second to none.

  20. That is brilliant – I expect you have been to Heidelberg , it is the most beautiful place – a nice place to go on a bus to😄

  21. I think this comes under the heading of ‘big boys toys’. Well done Dave – all the tinkering, tweaking, oiling and TLC has certainly paid off. There is something hypnotic about watching and hearing these old machines do their thing. Here’s looking forward to a bright future xxx

  22. What a creative couple you are! Good luck to you both, I’m certain it’ll be a big ‘Heidelberg Pink Gray’ success!

  23. I will look on my stocking cards when they arrive with great respect and admiration. Congratulations to you both, exciting times xx

  24. Well done Dave. We love watching the repair shop on TV – my dad has tinkered with machines all his life, so he will love seeing this. Very best of luck with your new venture when the time is right x

  25. Oh wow Barbara that is just amazing. You and Dave make a fantastic team. Keep up the good work. Have a great weekend. I am so pleased we are staying an extra day in Egypt. Then on to some colouring. It will be amazing. Take care. Hugs xxx

  26. I love that machine!!!💝
    Woensdag you are looking very well, the machine is like an ant knicking with the head and putting the arms up and down with the papers.🙈 sorry to much fantasy!
    Good luck with these machines and company–may it grow very big!!
    Have a great weekend!
    Lots of love, Trijntje Huppel

  27. What a brilliant story Barbara! Restoring these old machines is a wonderful way of keeping them alive and giving then a new lease of life and great that Dave can now get back now that Crafty Armageddon has passed, hopefully for good!
    Dave & Brig xx

  28. Wow! I had noticed the Pinky Gray Logo on the postcards but little did we know what you were up to! It’s fabulous, such a wonderful piece of machinery. Well done Dave!! xx

  29. How fabulous that Dave could get these machines working. He must have gained so much satisfaction from it. Well done Dave.

  30. My husband would be most impressed with the machines. He is an engineer and can make anything out of metal and mends everything. Took toys apart as a child.

  31. Hi Barbara
    Wow thanks for your private peek.
    Onward and upward ehh. Well done that man of yours. Hats off to you Dave
    Have a lovely weekend both of you

  32. That is very impressive and why you are so successful as a company. You are innovative and incredibly talented. All the very best in this new and exciting venture. Hx

  33. How exciting for you both and Clarity. I wish you well with the new venture. I too had noticed the name on the postcards and was just glad it wasn’t ‘boring beige’, as that is usually your go to colour! 😂 The new name is perfect. Have a great weekend. Hugs. Annette X

  34. What a fascinating insight – thank you and what a star that man Dave is!
    I look forward to hearing more about these amazing old machines and what they can produce

  35. What a couple you are! Well done Dave what fabulous old machines, to listen to the workings is amazing. Good Luck to the new printing company. Xx

  36. That is an amazing story and so happy for you that it worked out even after delays. It is wonderful to use old equipment and get the pleasure of making something work and then produce something at home. Lovely.

  37. Watching the Heidelberg is so mesmerising- how wonderful that this beauty is still working. Good luck for your new venture – look forward to seeing what Heidelberg and Dave produce going forward.

  38. How wonderful so exciting for you both and for clarity as well to be able to supply both businesses with homegrown products is just fantastic xx good luck xx

  39. What a very exciting new ‘add-on’ to your exiting amazing company – I’m awaiting some Christmas tree cards, so they will mean more to me now I know their origin – Well done Barb & Dave – your success is our benefit, and long may it continue! Like others, I look forward to future new projects from this old machine!!!

  40. Hi Barbara
    I used to make piano’s for a living many moons ago and there was some very nice old machinery used there and all the parts were made on site fascinating. Love the Pinky Grey logo I too have just looked at the postcard never noticed it before. Good luck with the new venture the Christmas card shaped cards are excellent quality just like all your products.
    Thanks for all your work and well done Dave. Xx

  41. That’s fantastic news. You two are so talented and deserve to do well. Shaped cards will be brilliant for Christmas and other times of the year, be great for children’s cards too. Wish you both all the very best with this new venture, Pinky Grey sounds terrific

  42. Hi Barb Congratulations on your good news You all work so hard you deserve great success in your new venture. Supporting our country is most important especially now. We need our old machines back to use again and to stop buying from China. We can do it
    All good wishes Love Jan x

  43. Well done Dave! Good luck to you both with PinkyGray. Looking forward to getting my sale items soon. I’m hoping the PinkyGray postcards will still be included.
    Thank you Barbara for helping keep Hochanda going after some suppliers and staff left suddenly.
    Keep safe. Susan.

  44. How exciting I remember well Dave going and getting this big machine wonderful well done Dave look forward to hearing more it this beautiful machine and it’s makes will be watching as usual love Joy

  45. I am so excited for you both. It will be nice to buy shapes etc that is British made. And you will not have the worry whether your orders are going to arrive on time. I joined the die club last week looking forward to receiving my first die. So I had a good spend in the half price sale. So I can’t wait for my order to arrive. Good luck in your new adventure. Take care love ❤️ Noritaxx🌈🌈🤗🤗

  46. Hello Barb and Dave, you two are definitely a match made in heaven. I was wondering where the name came from on the lovely postcards in our parcels. I received the biggest of my sale orders yesterday, it made me smile opening it. Well done Dave on the loving attention to these wonderful machines, and may the Pinky Gray endeavour go from strength to strength. Take care and stay safe everyone. Bx

  47. Thank you Dave, so many lovely memories came rushing back from my time in the print room. I loved the sound of our machine clacking away in the background while I worked. Sadly all gone now but 50 years ago it was a hive of activity. I wish you both good luck in this new venture, as with all your great quality products this is sure to be a well deserved success. Keep safe and well.

  48. The machine is beautiful, your Dave is a resourceful man.
    Good luck with the new company too, I was wondering about the postcards in my.order 🥰
    They are wonderful I’ve saved them all,
    Hugs take care julie xxx

  49. I feel your love Dave for all things mechanical. I worked for a paper manufacturer for most of my working life and watching one of the big old machines do its thing never failed to give me goosebumps. Sadly the mill has now closed but the old machines are working once again in other countries. Good luck with your new project.x

  50. Wow, I had noticed Pinky Gray on the back of the postcards & we had a wonderful stay on the side of the river below the town of Heidleberg many years ago when we had our caravan.
    I wonder what plans you have for the printers ?
    We watched the Dig last night – really enjoyed it.

  51. What a wonderful read. It’s lovely when the old machinery comes good again, Heidelberg press was great to watch it working too. Love your company name Barbara, I think Dave should name each machine properly with a brass plaque something like the Pinky Jones and the Pinky Smith all owned by the Pinky Gray company.
    Made me smile today Thank you xx

  52. You must be as proud of him, as he is of you. Well done both of you. What’s the next thing I wonder, waiting with baited breath. x

  53. Thank you so much for sharing that video…it was mesmerising watching it go through it’s paces. What a clever husband you have and how nice that he can breathe new life into such wonderful machinery and save them from the scrap heap. It just goes to show that.New is not always best! He must feel a real sense of achievement watching things coming literally ” hot off the press! ” Good luck with your new enterprise, you deserve every success.

  54. Trust a farmer to be able to fix it! Lovely to see the machine working beautifully. Best of luck to you both in your newest venture, shall be interested to hear about it.

  55. Just seen a Groovi like system on Create and Craft. Good ideas are always copied, but you can’t beat quality and Clarity has the best stamps and Groovi, I will always buy from Clarity.
    Barbara is the best crafter, teaching us as she demonstrates.

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