What started as a cinematic quest to uncover the humanity of the artisan evolved into an honest depiction of the fascinating production of letterpress printing.
The Half-Broken Things featured the letterpress studio Swayspace in their documentary IMPRESSED: The Craft of Letterpress Printing. The film follows the artisans in their production of wedding invitations while offering insight into
the letterpress process, the spirit of Swayspace, and their personal philosophies on letterpress printing. The second part of the film focuses on the fashion students and their interpretation of the letterpress printing process into the construction of the garment. Impressed by the abstract of the machinery, the fashion students create a coat to take on the physical form of the machinery.
The dress takes on the nature of the wheel as it is looped and draped by a single sheet of fabric. Sustainability is also considered in this reduction of waste and reuse of materials (flaps of the coat are made by recycled paper from the studio) as mimicked by the conscientious sustainable practices of Swayspace.
Rather than simply carrying on traditional letterpress printing, Swayspace looks to the past to advance towards the future. As Patrick Fenton, co-founder of Swayspace, says in an interview, “We always wanted to have room to expand and experiment and Swayspace is exactly the kind of incubated space we envisioned.”