Our Lovely Letterpress

Chandler & Price New Style 10x15 - Christa Alexandra DesignsWe are the proud owners of a Chandler & Price New Style 10×15 Letterpress, she was first cast in 1918. We’re not sure where she’s been this past century, we imagine she has many stories and seen her fair share of interesting projects and people. Weighing in at one ton, a solid frame of cast iron and many moving parts – she resides in our printing studio built in our old barn.

When we got her, she was in pretty good shape. We replaced her missing treadle – the foot pedal that operates the whole machine. A new set of rollers and trucks, and she was practically ready to be run again. Although we do own movable type, we mainly print our designs using polymer plates (you can see it in the center of the picture). These are adhesive and are mounted to the smooth and solid Boxcar Base.

As described by many as a labor of love, letterpress printing is one of the most rewarding tasks that can be done. Imagine creating your own design and then seeing your design come to life, hand fed sheet by sheet – color by color, on a press that’s been printing for nearly 100 years. The indentation left by the plate, thousands of pounds of pressure inking the cotton surface of your paper. Minus the light above, the only thing that is running this press is your right foot, keeping the motion of the heavy flywheel rotating.

We are proud to say our designs are truly handmade, lovingly from a little studio inside a red barn, located in Vermont.