I love letterpress printing. In fact, I love everything that has to do with handmade paper products. There have been many hours that I’ve spent perusing the aisles of local paper stores, adoring the notebooks, handmade paper, envelopes and (my personal favorite), handmade letterpress cards. What is it about relief printing that makes me swoon? I enjoy the beautiful grain of the paper, the richness of the ink, and the texture of the print’s surface. It always feels special to give or receive a letterpress card; it’s a gift in itself.
A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to spend a lovely afternoon with Angie Clark, owner of Encanto Press. Encanto Press is a letterpress printing and design studio in Portland, Oregon. Angie opened up her shop in 2000 and has been making beautiful, one-of-a-kind letterpress printed wedding invitations, business cards, birth announcements and greeting cards ever since. About a year ago, Angie designed and printed a wedding invitation for a friend of mine and I’ve been a fan of her work ever since. The best part: Angie is one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. Seriously, she is incredibly warm and friendly. I adore her and I know you will too! Please take the time to meet Angie and see her studio and all of the hard work and skill that goes into each of her letterpress pieces.
When you arrive at Angie’s studio, you are greeted by her amazing Camellia.
This is Angie’s studio and the home of Encanto Press. Pretty darn cute!
The lovely Angie:)
The hands behind the magic.
Angie hand-carves some of her linoleum press blocks. Fancy carving tool on the right.
Sweet and cozy studio. I love this place!
Fine letterpress made with the of heavy-duty machinery.
Look at that gear. Wow!
Tools of the trade.
First, Angie chooses the paper she’d like to use. So many paper choices! Drool.
This is a detail of Angie’s paper-cutter. This thing is serious and means business.
She cuts the paper to the correct specs…
…then chooses her first press color. Angie prefers soy-based inks that are better for the environment.
Mixing the ink.
Angie spreads the ink on the press’ platen, which will then transfer ink to the block. Next, Angie arranges the press block into the chase.
Angie said that when she purchased the press, the count was around 900. It’s now almost 12,000!
Putting the chase into the press.
Angie likes to be precise with her printing. I like that:)
Off she goes! Each impression is made one-by-one.
For two-color prints, she must clean the platen between colors.
Almost done cleaning.
Done. Onto the next block: the pea pod.
The next color: a beautiful green.
One more time through the press. Almost done!
The card is complete! Each card is unique and handmade. A true pleasure to behold. Please check out some more of Angie’s beautiful work.
Don’t forget: Mother’s Day is May 9th this year. I guarantee that she’d love a card from you:)
Thank you for visiting!