press & printer - tanya from snap and tumble:

April 27, 2010

press: Craftsmen Machinery Co. Superior Press 6 1/2 x 10
printer: tanya from snap and tumble


I own three table top presses. The press in the photo is a Craftsmen Machinery Co. Superior Press 6 1/2 x 10. The other two are an Adana Eight-Five and a Showcard Press.

I didn't go to school for graphic design. I didn't complete any software program courses. I didn't grow up with printers in the family. Nor did I study printmaking for any length of time. I simply picked up a letterpress printed card and ran my fingers over its deep inked impression. Curiosity turned into love.

What followed was completely unexpected. Thanks to the Internet, I had information about letterpress at my fingertips. I was led from one site to another, finding hundreds of resources. I asked questions, I joined forums, I read books, I watched videos, I followed blogs. I was super keen to learn all I could about letterpress printing. Getting myself up to speed on the vocabulary of letterpress was only good for being able to understand printer-speak. And though it gave me a good start, it wouldn't be anything without a press to practice on. Before I knew it, I was pursuing my passion.

With serious effort, I was able to get a few hours of one-on-one letterpress printing instruction in the Toronto area back in 2007. Though the demonstrations were not on a platen table top, my love for letterpress grew stronger after having tried my hand on a flatbed press. I took what I had learned and sought out a press that was more suited to my situation (finances and accommodations).

I contacted Don Black Linecasting in Scarborough, Ontario and Craig Black set me up with an Adana Eight-Five. It was a small model and perfect for my purposes at the time. With a starting kit that included a font, I set to task and printed every chance I got. As my designs started to get a little more complex, and wedding commissions started to come in, I decided it was time to upgrade the press in early 2009. I purchased my second press - the Craftsmen Machinery Co, Superior Press, again from Don Black Linecasting. It is now my primary press but I still use the Adana for smaller jobs and for participants to use during the Letterpress Curiosity Workshops.

7 hello's:

  1. thanks for sharing your story, Tanya!

  2. This is so inspiring! Thanks for posting this. I've been searching and wanting to attend a letterpress course but can't find any in Sydney, guess I'll have to keep poping by for some inspiration! Thanks again for a wonderful blog!

  3. Anything is possible when you're passionate about it. Really nice work Tanya. I wished they had letterpress courses here in Malaysia too.

  4. so very lovely to read!
    also that you don't always need lots of education and knowledge to make your dream come true!


  5. Thank you so much for sharing your story, Tanya. That is seriously inspiring - you do such beautiful work, all from your passion and creativity with letter press. It's refreshing to hear how you fell in love at first touch, and pursued it with a singular passion, teaching yourself and learning from others along the way. Just wow!

  6. I'm so glad that I wander around your blog from time to time, because this was a very heartening story to read, because I also have a great curiosity for letterpress but have no design background.
    To me, something in Tanya's story evokes the spirit of mixing DIY and blogging.


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