The proudest printers I’ve met are those who’ve introduced themselves as boy printers. Men, mostly retired, who trace their careers as pressmen, ad men, art directors and publishers back to the acquisition of a toy press. These are men who ran small job printing businesses from their boyhood bedrooms, who printed newspapers at home and their mothers’ Christmas cards. They are men who found their craft at an early age, before apprenticeships hardened them and technology superseded them. They are men for whom letterpress has always held a special place in their hearts, and often their basements. More than once, I stood before a press in an old guy’s basement, wondering how he got it in, and how I might get it out. One time, an old guy conceded that yes, he might’ve built some walls down here since the press was installed. Sometimes, I imagined a basement press fully set up before a house was lowered on top of it. One of the real pleasures of my falling into this world has been meeting these men, hearing their stories and inheriting the tools that have kept this craft alive.

Hence the handle girlprinter. There are lots of us out here now, thanks to book arts centers, second-wave feminism and the sheer love of letterforms. We reject the term “press bunny”, even though it makes us laugh. We remember our grandmothers, great-grandmothers and great-great-grandmothers who worked in the printing industry, often invisibly. Like those grown boy printers, we are also proud.

This blog is a scrapbook of my interests letterpress and otherwise. I make things with needles and thread, shovel and trowel, whisk and wooden spoon (with varying degrees of skill and success.) I’m interested in sustainability and the new domesticity, but that doesn’t mean I have a clean house. In rare spare moments, I write stories.