Alert! This post is for paper nerds, through and through. If you get excited about type, presses, and prints (oh my!), then, by all means, read on.
(above photo – type found at Columbia College Book and Paper Center)
Last week, we got the amazing opportunity to join with 100 printers and print-enthusiasts from all over for a print-astic APA hosted event. Historically, when local print houses were more commonplace, master printers would host events every year during the summer to mark the date that their employees would need to begin printing by candlelight. Eventually, the event morphed into an annual summertime celebration dinner for their studio employees. They were called wayzgooses. So, naturally, Chicagoose was the name of our local rendition.
(above photo of an installation of work from a letterpress workshop with Tandem Felix)
Local print powerhouse, Jen Farrell, of Starshaped Press in Ravenswood, organized this year’s event over the course of three days. Jen crafted a stellar lineup of speakers, studio tours, and print and equipment sales. Didn’t think it was possible to get sweaty over seeing a table full of old typesetting trays? Well, think again.
(above images from A Favorite‘s studio tour)
We loved seeing the spaces of other makers, and hearing from seasoned printers infused our own work with new energy. Letterpress events always inspire me to take more care in honoring the vast and rich tradition of letterpress. It isn’t all about stationery and wedding invitations. There’s such a rich history to the art— and it needs to be preserved and shared.
(from left to right: Ksenya Thomas of Thomas Printers, Lorraine from Thrill of the Chase, Debbie from Penelope’s Press and Shayna at Steel Petal Press)
Additionally, It was worth the price of admission to get to spend time with fellow printers and both new and old friends, like Ksenyia of Thomas-Printers (and the founder of Ladies of Letterpress), Erin Beckloff of the forthcoming letterpress film: Pressing On, and Debbie of Penelope’s Press. We even got a chance to see Paul Aken (of the Platen Press museum in Zion, IL) and the previous owner of our very first press!
We’re so thankful that the art of letterpress is also a doorway into a community of true artists, craftsmen, historians, and overall amazing people. What a great event, and way to celebrate the craft and its makers.