Artships Press is a passion project operating out of a postcard-sized letterpress studio that’s equipped with a 1890s C&P Platen Press. This is an entry-level tabletop press best suited for short print-runs and postcard-size images. It requires no water or electricity to run, and still works like charm 130 years post conception.
The stationery projects posted here were gifts made for friends and a way for me to get to know the press. They’re imperfectly handmade and 100% human-powered.
Composed of antique, handset moveable type and recycled analog parts that include, line blocks, halftones, and ornamental fills, the design process is limited and must conform to the technology of a bygone era. When compared to the limitlessness of letterpress using digital production today, I’m humbly reminded that it’s about the journey, not the destination.
Working with antique tools is a labor of love that teaches the value of patience and requires a “make do and mend” approach. It’s the best way to learn the ancient craft of letterpress and it’s immensely rewarding on the days when things work out.
Parts that make up this whole include:
- A scrap collection of metal antique type, ornament borders, and corner fills – well-loved, missing sorts, often damaged, still useful
- A small handful of moveable fonts sets from various type foundry’s – dusty, well cared for, and used for the very first time
- A stray collection of wood type, line blocks, and halftone blocks carefully collected over time
- 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