James Oliver is a self-taught maker, musician and artist who arrived at designing and building bookbinding presses and equipment via joinery and furniture making. In 2007, he set up Olive and Oak with the aim of creating top quality equipment – every example being itself a functioning piece of art.
Using various sustainable hardwoods and lathe-turned steel elements, each press is lovingly hand-crafted, bringing together the two disciplines of joinery and engineering.
Special attention is applied to not only the finishing, but the balance, calibration and functionality of each piece, ensuring that the bookbinder, book artist or conservator receives a product that both does everything that is expected of it and is a pleasure to use.
Originally London-based, James and his workshop relocated to the North of Portugal where the natural surroundings of mountains, rivers and forests continually provide ample inspiration. Like in nature, a design is never completely finished; new challenges, new ideas or even a change of perspective can offer an improvement, an evolution.
My press & plough arrived this evening, has been inspected by the cat, and is now looking beautiful on my workbench, waiting for me to get back to work later in the week. I can see it lasting longer than I do, haha. It's fantastic, thank you!
You exceeded all of my expectations with this - from choosing the wood blanks that were naturally in tune with each other to the slightly overwound handmade pickups - this is a true one-off guitar with an amazing tone. Brilliant.
This is incredible - a beautiful giant of a laying press, a conversation piece and a fully functioning bit of equipment - and all from recycled wood, great!
Your work is exceptional and whoever sees your presses is blown away by their beauty and precision. You guide your client and ask the right questions to make sure they have the best tool they need. You truly are master of your craft and know that your tools caused lots of happiness. Thank you and don't stop creating such stunning tools.
Well done! I'm so glad I bumped into you - it's all good and exactly what I was looking for.
Thank you so much for the presses! They arrived yesterday and my word - your work is exceptional. Your work is mind blowing and so precise. True master indeed. We marvel over your work and have never seen anything like it.
It is more beautiful than I remembered. What a terrific piece of equipment, and so appreciated, thank you so much. My husband is marvelling at your workmanship and I know this is a match made in heaven - your talent and my need.
I received your press today. It is such a lovely work of craftsmanship. I will have much joy using it. Thank you and best wishes.
+351 925 513 795
Avenida São Salvador, 662
Vila Nova de Cerveira
Viana do Castelo - Portugal