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Q&A Sharon Sewell, Varsity Graphics
64 ProPrint September 2014
No there was no RSI using the
Monotype because I think you sat in
a different position. You were
pressing down, your arms were more
straight as you were typing down and of
course your legs were wide open because
you were high positioned and you were
going like that. You didn't have the same
keyboard for italic and everything else.
You had to move. You had your small caps
here and away you went. It was an unusual
machine. I think we had to work out how
many lines we did as well. The line count
thing here. Once you'd done that you'd tie
up your thing and send it down to the
casters and they would cast your
masterpiece. The casters were a different
breed altogether, sniffing lead I think that's
what it was. Just different. If you ask a
comp 'what's a printer like, you say 'they
drag their knuckles on the ground when
he walks', 'and what's a proof reader?'
'Well, he's a failed comp.' And the keyboard
operators were meant to be the top of the
deal, and it showed in the pay as well,
because the keyboard operator would get
more money than the other guys. Whether
rightly or wrongly, I don't know, but I was
never going to complain. It was always my
shout when I went down to the pub
anyway. A lot of my good mates were
caster operators, and when we went across
to film of course they either retired or they
became keyboard operators. They had to
learn how to write as well and read. That
was their prerogative and a couple of them
did really well. Really, really well.
Print's Past excerpts are drawn from interviews
by Benjamin Thorn, curator of the Armidale
Museum of Printing, and are due to be
published in a forthcoming book.
Varsity Graphics' Sharon Sewell decided
to forgo cartoons and organic grocery
stores in favour of print. It all has to do
with family ties, apparently.
Why did you get into printing?
My parents (Harry and Marie Brelsford)
have owned printing businesses for over
20 years, and my brother and I always
liked playing on the Macintosh
computers, so it was a natural
progression to get involved in the
business. My assignments always looked
the best at school too.
What is your favourite phrase?
Live long and prosper (from Star Trek).
What would be your dream job?
To be a presenter on Playschool.
What TV show are you watching at the
My weakness at the moment is The
Voice. I've become fascinated with
What is your greatest luxury in life?
Going out to fine dining restaurants with
Who or what makes you laugh?
My two-year-old son. The theatrics of a
toddler should make you laugh, not get
If you didn't work in print, what
would you be doing?
I'd love to own an organic grocery store
Reveal a secret talent that you have.
If your house was on fire,
what three things would
you rescue (apart from
I have travelled a lot so I've
never got attached to material
things, but I suppose I'd save my
hard disk with our photos. We
haven't put those photos up in the
Visual Impact Sydney
Future of your business
PIAA mental health seminar
What's new in Photoshop
PIAA first aid training
Gain value from waste
Western Australia PICAs
Sydney Olympic Park
Innovation Centre, Bentley
PIAA Victoria, Mulgrave
PIAA NSW, Auburn
Hyatt Hotel, Perth
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