The little press that could.
Artships Press is a postcard-sized letterpress studio equipped with an 1890s Chandler & Price Platen press. The C&P is an entry-level tabletop press that is best suited for short print-runs and postcard-size images. It requires no water or electricity to run and works like charm 130 years post conception.
The majority of stationery projects I’ve posted here were gifts made for friends and a way for me to get to know the press. They’re imperfectly handmade and were 100% human-powered.
My designs are typeset by hand into a block, which are pressure-locked into a chase and loaded vertically on the press. Each composition is created using a limited palette of retired analog parts, including line blocks, halftone blocks, ornamental fills, and moveable type. Using hand-mixed inks, the imagery is debossed onto hand-cut, archival-grade cotton paper.
Working with antiques is a labor of love that teaches the value of patience and requires a “made do and mend” approach. It’s the best way to learn the ancient craft of letterpress and is immensely rewarding on the days when things work out.
Parts that make up the whole include:
- A scrap collection of metal antique type, ornament borders, and corner fills – well loved, missing sorts, often damaged, still useful
- A handful of moveable fonts sets from various type foundry’s – dusty, well cared for, opened for the first time
- Stray collection of wood type, line blocks, and halftone blocks
- Rubber-based Van Son Holland Ink: Pantone yellow, warm red, reflex blue, black, and transparent white
- A 200 lb cast-iron, hand-lever tabletop press
- A 500 lb guillotine paper cutter