Val Lucas runs Bowerbox Press, a studio specializing in letterpress-printed woodcuts, greeting cards and custom invitations. Inspired by the rural landscape of Monkton, Maryland, she combines hand-set wood and metal type with woodcut images featuring local scenes, birds and farm life. A graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art, Val has taught workshops at Baltimore Print Studios, Pyramid Atlantic Art Center, and MICA.
Scott Moore recently retired after 35 years of teaching Industrial Arts at Pickerington High School near Columbus, OH and now continues the tradition of cutting end grain hard maple wood type by the historic pantograph method. He has two degrees from Miami University in Oxford, OH where he worked as a lab assistant in the print shop as part of his Industrial Arts studies. Letterpress and offset printing were taught as part of Industrial Arts during the 1950-70s.
Scott’s company, Moore Wood Type, is located in central Ohio. He makes and sells historic based ornaments, catchwords, and replacement letters to letterpress printers around the world. His philosophy is that every printer deserves to have some special “printers candy” wood type to use on their own projects. He conducts wood type workshops at universities and wayzgeese, and enjoys sharing wood type history and production with eager learners.
Mel Stockwell owns and operates The Calico Press, a small print shop on her farm in Southeast Iowa. When her career of 18 years in print and design was shaken by the recession in 2010, Mel took advantage of the situation to gather her print belongings in one location and open her own shop for business. To say that her business today is multi-faceted is an understatement; her daily to-do list ranges from writing marketing campaigns to directing the Villages Folk School to restoring old presses.
In 1988, she was first introduced to an etching press at Coe College where she earned her B.A. Together with her farm upbringing and knowledge of metalworking, a passion ignited. That passion has grown to include all aspect of printing. She also enjoys working on trucks, hunting, spending time with family and, apparently, anything heavy, greasy, rusty, or hard-to-move.
Having loved books and crafting from the earliest age, Carrie Valenzuela has taken her nerdy obsession into the book arts as a longtime letterpress printer at Boxcar Press, hand bookbinder at her own Amaranth Press & Bindery, Renaissance bookbinding apprentice, paper artist, type-lover, print knowledge collector, constant maker of new binding structures and up-late-at-night researcher of such joyful topics.
Rick von Holdt established the Foolproof Press in 1976 for his own education and entertainment. The great adventure has lead to more acquisitions over the decades and he now has over 2,000 fonts of handset type in his shop. In addition to printing as a hobby he also serves as a director at Printer’s Hall in Mt. Pleasant, IA.
Harold Kyle is founder and president of Boxcar Press. Harold lives in Syracuse, New York and, when not taming ancient cast iron presses, loves to hike and to code.
Lydia Godfrey Evans is a letterpress printer who incorporates design, illustration, and a variety of printing and craft methods to create one-of-a-kind pieces. She specializes in wedding invitations, business cards, and other custom pieces for clients, in addition to printing for other designers. Lydia enjoys helping each client bring their vision to life. She loves the creative process and the craft of letterpress and how it can empower individuals to express themselves in a personal, tangible way. She is the proud proprietor of Letterpress by Lydia, a print and design studio in Libertyville, IL. Her presses include a 7×11 Gordon, a 12×18 Chandler & Price, a 10×15 Heidelberg, and a small proof press. She frequently uses local community Vandercook 4 presses and enjoys teaching others to use community presses as well as their own newly acquired presses. Share the joy of letterpress!
Gregory J. Walters bought his first press, a Kelsey 9×13, as a 6th grader in 1964. He graduated with a BS in Printing Management from Ferris State College in 1975 and was one of the last classes to take hot metal composition. He has now worked 40 years in the printing industry, but never as a manager or in letterpress. He has compensated by becoming a collector of letterpress type, presses, books, and typecasting mats and machines. He has three Ludlow Typographs in operating condition and around 800 different fonts of mats and enjoys using them.
Eric Woods runs The Firecracker Press, a letterpress design studio and printshop in St. Louis, Missouri. Opened in February of 2002, The Firecracker Press combines antique printing technology with modern thinking to produce objects that bring surprise and joy. They make posters, prints, social stationery, and greeting cards, business cards, invitations for weddings and parties, and more.
Jim Daggs’ letterpress career started with his apprenticeship at age 14 with a master printer who ran a letterpress shop in Jim’s hometown of Eldora, Iowa. Soon he had acquired an 8×12 C&P, some cases of type, and had set up a small shop in the basement of his father’s store. Jim continued his training at the local twice-weekly newspaper plant, learning the Linotype and Ludlow. His first exposure to Heidelberg Windmill was at age 21 when he went to work for Woolverton Printing Co. in Cedar Falls, Iowa. The letterpress foreman at Woolverton put Jim in front of a Windmill one day, and alongside of the press were several pallets of 16-page product catalogs for a local manufacturing company. With that, the composing room sent over galleys and galleys of imprint lines to put dealer names on the back of catalogs. The job exceeded the capacity of the Windmill, so some modifications had to be made. The foreman quickly ran through the procedure to set up press and form and left Jim with the words, “If you can run this job, you can run anything on a Heidelberg!” Now, 36 years later, Daggs’ Ackley Publishing Co. operates five 10x15s and 2 13x18s on a daily basis. Jim has moved and refurbished each press, and has trained numerous operators.
Barbara Henry was introduced to letterpress by Kay Amert at the University of Iowa in 1978. She was for 20 years Curator of Bowne & Co., Stationers, a 19th-century printing office and part of the South Street Seaport Museum in New York City. While at Bowne she operated two platen presses, a Columbian Rotary and a Golding, on which she printed cards and invitations and book pages. Presently she is Master Printer at the Center for Book Arts in Manhattan, and prints books for her own imprint, Harsimus Press. Her work is in many university libraries and private collections.
Mary Bruno “I am a local letterpress printer in St. Joseph, Minnesota. I grew up in St. Joe and moved away after college to Madison, Wisconsin. I was always a print maker and after my father passed away suddenly in 2003, I moved home to take over his print shop. Since that time I have come up with over 200 greeting card designs that sell in stores all over the country. That is what supports me and gives me time to work on other artistic prints such as my animal series. These small reduction blocks have been such a blast to produce and I hope to continue with that. I have also been teaching residencies and printing on a large scale and having a few exhibitions of my work. Last year I received the ‘Established Artist Grant’ from the Central Minnesota Arts Board that was essential in my printing journey to Sweden and the South of France!” Check out her work at Bruno Press.
Peter Fraterdeus is the founder of Slow Print Letterpress Studio in Dubuque, Iowa (slowprint.com). He is also a calligrapher, type designer, Irish musician, chef, photographer, humanistic optimist, and nature lover. He has taught book arts, letterpress, calligraphy, typography, information architecture, and web design around the world.
Kathryn Hunter is the owner of Blackbird Letterpress, a small design and fine printing studio in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Blackbird, founded in 2003, specializes in animal-shaped stationery, paper toys, handmade notebooks, and calendars. Kathryn is inspired by the colors in Wes Anderson’s films and the animals that live along the Louisiana coast. She earned a BFA in printmaking from Montana State University and an MFA in printmaking from Louisiana State University. She continues to make fine art when she’s not busy keeping up with Blackbird, designing, printing, and performing other operational tasks. See her fine art work at kathrynhunterfineart.com
Margot Ecke is the owner of Smokey Road Press. She received her MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and her BFA from Cornell University. She received a Professional Printing Certificate from the Tamarind Institute at the University of New Mexico and completed her training by earning her Diploma in Bookbinding at the North Bennett Street School in Boston. Margot was the Victor Hammer Fellow in the Book Arts at Wells College in Aurora, New York from 2004-2006, and has taught workshops at the Penland School of Crafts, the Atlanta Printmakers Studio, the North Bennet Street School, the Ink Shop, etc.. She was an Assistant Professor of Book Arts and Printmaking at the University of Georgia from 2006-2009. Her work is exhibited both nationally and internationally.
Arie Koelewyn has been the proprietor of The Paper Airplane Press, a not-for-profit hobby press, since 1976. The press was started as an anodyne to help relieve the pain of unemployment after graduate school and has since grown to include an 8×12 C&P OS, Vandercook #1, Golding Official #2, Rouse #2 handpress and a wooden parlor press; dozens of fonts of metal type, a Rosback perforator and a Paragon paper cutter. Unemployment eventually cured itself, but the presses, type and peripherals hung around to help hold the basement down. Retirement arrived, none too soon, in 2006 and a part-time career in teaching college students at Michigan State University how to run a treadle press commenced.
Lynda Sherman is the proprietress of Bremelo Press in Seattle, Washington. The print studio is an archive and working museum. Through the press and Lynda the history and legacy of analog printing is preserved. There’s nothing like the feel of ink on paper and the indelible stamp of typefaces. Bremelo Press was a chance for Lynda Sherman to tell pieces of her own story and carry the art of moveable type into the new century. When searching for a press name, Lynda asked herself about her origins and chose Bremelo, an unflattering term for women from her town that she reclaimed as the voice of empowerment.
Lynda reads obituaries for inspiration, and once wallpapered an entire bathroom with obituaries clipped from the New York Times. Her favorite stories are from people who have made achievements through hardship. One of her favorite quotes comes from the obituary of phone phreak Joybubbles, who died at the age of 58, after reclaiming the age of 5 forever. When he was asked why Mr. Rogers mattered, Joybubbles said: “When you’re playing and you’re just you, powerful things happen.”
Marnie Powers-Torrey holds an MFA in photography from the University of Utah and a BA in English and Philosophy from Boston College’s Honors Program. She is the Managing Director of the Book Arts Program and Red Butte Press, an Associate Librarian (Lecturer), and faculty mentor for minor and certificate students in book arts. Marnie teaches letterpress printing, artists’ books, and other courses for the Book Arts Program and elsewhere. She is master printer for the Red Butte Press, printing with a staff of excellent printers. Marnie is a founding member of the College Book Arts Association, and her work is exhibited and held in collections nationally.
Tammy and Adam Winn run The Red Door Press, a letterpress print + design studio located in Des Moines, Iowa. It was started in August of 2012 with a single press and a small handful of type. Our studio got its name from a particular red door which we visit every year to take family photos. The idea of remembering who we were in the past is the foundation we built our studio on. Today we find ourselves with more than twenty presses and an ever-growing type collection. Our print methods focus using hand-set type, both wood and metal. Our shop loves to play with different materials when printing. And more than anything we love to engage the community to share our love of printing. Our shop has been participating in markets, providing workshops, educational exhibits in different parts of the US to help spread our love for letterpress. Our work can be found at www.thereddoorpress.com
James “MAC” McGraw started his letterpress journey at the tender age of 14. As the years went by, employment included press operation, equipment service tech, and 33-year high school shop teacher with Cincinnati Public Schools. This was the beginning of a life-long enthusiasm for all things letterpress. Retirement from full time employment provided Jim the opportunity to establish the Shamrock Press for the purpose of preserving and disseminating mirthful nonsense, limericks, and other stuff. This “hobby shop” is equipped with a Ludlow caster and 15- plus fonts, C&Ps, a Windmill, and a Miehle Vertical. Five decades of experience in the graphic arts provided James with countless learning experiences. He is eager to share his knowledge and skills with interested people.