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.