To the Letterpress
When did you start letterpress printing?:
May 2012. My husband Tom and I started off making bookmarks, greeting cards, and business cards for our own personal use, and ex libris cards for in our home library. Then we thought, ‘we can't be the only letterpress lovers out there.’
What do you like best about letterpress printing?:
The fact that you're using something with a pre-existing history, namely antique movable type, to make something beautiful and entirely new.
What inspires you?:
We read a lot, and when our idea doesn't come from a book, it comes from the imagination we've developed through reading books.
Which press(es), ink & paper do you usually use?:
An Adana 8x5 hand letter press. Because they don't actually make these babies any more, you can only get them secondhand, but we kind of prefer that. We get a lot of our type and ink from Caslon, and most of our paper from Vlieger in Amsterdam. We also decided that we preferred to use only loose type, rather than ordering custom polymer plates to make our prints. Not only is this better for the environment (as virtually all recycled products are), but we like the sense of history and mystery that comes with antique type. A lot of it is older than both of us put together, which means technically all of it is vintage, and you never know what it's been used to print before.
How would you describe your artwork?:
Nostalgic cards, bookmarks, and business cards lovingly typeset and printed on our Adana hand printing press. We only use loose type – no newfangled polymer plates. Both type and press are more than half a century old, so you never know what they've been used to make before.
What kind of products do you create?:
Greeting cards, business cards, stationary, bookmarks, notebooks, fine art prints, and anything else we can think up.
Do you offer custom work?:
Where can we buy your products?:
Is there anything you wished you had known as a beginner?:
How difficult it is to choose the paper. We could spend hours standing around feeling different kinds of paper.