The Letterpress Trail 2015 part 1: 80 on 80

I am not particularly well-traveled. I've never been out of the country (Toronto doesn't count when you grow up in Western New York), never had a passport, never studied abroad. This is largely due to lack of means; it was a stretch to move to Chicago for college and every spare penny earned from every part time job fed into my education and, well, maybe some records. And while folks will say 'there's always a way', the fact is, you still need to pay for tickets to get places even if you win a scholarship. That little extra was never available. To further the stationary trend, I started Starshaped at the tender age of 23 which necessitated extreme frugality in order to purchase equipment and establish a fledgling business with no investors or loans (1999? No kickstarter, folks). And so planning a summer trip with Jo these last two years is my effort to at least see parts of the country I haven't been to (which is pretty much most of it). When we were accepted into the Renegade Craft Fair in San Francisco it felt like a great opportunity to drive across the country and back, visiting friends and printers along the way. It timed out perfectly to take place before I was scheduled to teach at Wells College so we mapped it out... mostly. Of course the best laid plans have a way of going completely awry and the trip was much more physically and emotionally taxing than planned.

But not to worry, there's quite literally a Redemption Song at the end of this 3-part saga. Loud, thoughtful, ballsy or introspective music keeps me going on long trips and in life and for this one it was a critical crutch to keep me motivated and, well, awake. You can get our soundtrack here and all forthcoming song references are in italic. Follow along if you like!


Scheduled to leave July 9th, I frantically worked to wrap up jobs, pack and prep for a craft fair. I finished the last job at about 4:30am Thursday, got an hour of sleep, then threw everything along with Jo into the car to hit the road to Iowa. Our first stop was to the Barry Phipps Shop in Iowa City. While not a printer, Barry is a former Coctail (I learned to print from another member of this seminal Chicago band) and he made my custom printing apron which accompanied us on the trip. His studio is part gallery, part workspace, part record shop, part dance party, and it sums up most of Barry's interests. Outfitted in new t-shirts we took off for stop number 2 in our packed-to-the-rafters 500.





IMG_1211Pure adrenalin pushed me onward and we enjoyed a visit with Caveworks Press, north of Iowa City. Julie has a great space in her garage for a large Vandercook and plenty of type to keep her busy for a while.



IMG_1216Here are a few of Julie's projects, including broadsides, books and cards.


IMG_1213This print is one of my favorites and lucky me got to take one home.

IMG_1226We rolled out of Caveworks to head directly to Des Moines to spend the night with our pals Tammy and Adam Winn of The Red Door Press. Their entire garage is a print shop, chock full of letterpress awesomeness everywhere you turn. They were printing into the evening in preparation for an event.



IMG_1222The next day we joined Tammy briefly at Domestica, a fabulous boutique, where she set up to print with any customers wandering in. Yes, corn husks were printed, too. It's Iowa, folks.


IMG_1229This is one of Tammy's favorite red doors. Now Jo and I see red doors everywhere.

IMG_1230We had a great time in Iowa over the 24 hours we had to look around. I'm glad this state is close to us as there's so much more to see. We'll be back.



DJ Jo's Musical Interlude: I'm a Cuckoo, Kiss Me Like You Mean It, Mt. Pleasant (Mom, you mean there's one in Iowa, too?!)

We moved on to Lincoln, Nebraska, to visit Porridge Papers and their glorious retail and papermaking shop. I was smitten.


IMG_1240A rainbow of gorgeous handmade paper.


IMG_1233Paper drying out. It's a long, tiring process, but the result is so fantastic and I'm thrilled to be working these papers into upcoming projects at Starshaped.

IMG_1234Porridge also offers a Letterpress Bar, where, after a class, you can come and do your own printing. This is the perfect space for small projects, complete with type, tools and inspiration.


IMG_1232The print shop is shared with a bookbinder and his tools.



IMG_1236Huge thanks to Chris for showing us around and graciously hosting us at his home for grilled pizzas and stimulating conversation. As far as Jo was concerned this house had it all: a 7-year-old, a dog, a cat, a turtle, fish.


IMG_1243Right before we left Chicago, I lamented to Will at Beans and Bagels (our other home in the city) that I feared I wouldn't get a good cappuccino while on the road. He then emailed me a complete list of all the best coffee shops in every city we were scheduled to visit. Now we had a second map to follow that included Cultiva, where you can also get nutella crepes.



You're a long state, Nebraska, but we made it through. We stopped briefly in Rock Springs, Wyoming, to gas up and steal a glance at its charming features and 'town that type forgot' charm. There are a set of historic markers set up to check out so it didn't feel odd to take photos of its current state; more on this later.





IMG_1251Then it was on to Laramie, our home for the night. We hit the kid jackpot and saw the bright lights that night as it was the last evening of a carnival celebrating the town's jubilee. I'm not a selfie person, but we really lived it up on those rickety rides.


IMG_1249In Wyoming, the weather seems to change fast. The next frame would show a heavy downpour that dissipated just as quickly.

WYskylineFinally landing in Salt Lake City, a place we both enjoyed immensely, I was able to meet up with longtime printer friend David Wolske just days before he was scheduled to leave town to move back to Indiana (score a big one for the Midwest). I was treated to a private showing of his last series of prints, one of the few things not packed into the Uhaul.


IMG_1256David then took us over to the Red Butte Press at the University, his place of employment for one more day. What. A. Place.



IMG_1259The type collection is very impressive and beautifully organized.









IMG_1270Most of the ornament collection is kept in these hardware shelves and is in the process of being documented. Nice to see interns do the same kind of work in every shop.




IMG_1273Monday we took a non-printing side trip to visit Madsen Cycles, maker of our Press Bike. A well oiled shop of a different sort, it was exciting to see the design and development of these cargo bikes in person.



IMG_1287We stayed with a former Chicagoan while there who accompanied us with her stepchildren. The girls painted their faces right before we left so here you see a kitty-faced Jo explaining to Mr. Madsen her ideas for kid-sized cargo bike.

IMG_1285He wasn't one to disappoint and whipped out his phone to share secret images of a project in the works. Wait for it, folks.



IMG_1289Salt Lake City is a place we'll definitely visit again someday. We had a day to unwind and Jo had new friends. I snuck out Monday night for a supportive and stimulating dinner with David and his wife, Lauren, that gave me much needed clarity on this trip. Their insight into following a non-traditional path in letterpress work is spot on and encouraging and David reminded me of where I was in 2003 when we first met. Sometimes you need to go back to your roots for a drink or two.

Grabbing good coffee at the Rose Establishment set us on the run Tuesday morning.


UTskylineAt the urging of David, we were able to sneak in a brief visit to the Black Rock Press at the University of Nevada to meet Inge Bruggeman. The shop is large and offers a lot of typographic treats.


IMG_1296My first Californian sighting, something I was in tune to having just finished a print featuring this ampersand (next image... more on this series to come).





IMG_1302A whole table of freshly cast Bixler Letterfoundry type!

IMG_1304Jo was enamored of this brass line gauge. Maybe she's cut from the same cloth as Scott Moore.


IMG_1305I struggled with Nevada. It was my first moment of true homesickness and I had a near-panic attack while listening to Don't We Always Get There, wondering what the hell we were doing so far away from home. The gravity of the situation really sunk in, especially sitting in the hotel of a casino I hated, but Jo adored (kid midway, need I say more?). Then, following our coffee map, we found these guys pouring Blue Whale Coffee and all was well again. In a tiny place the size of our home office, there were two other Chicagoans there.


IMG_1307Hot chocolate to go along with the obligatory casino t-shirt. That she loves, of course.


NVskylineCalifornia All The Way, indeed. We made it. The two things Jo wanted more than anything on this trip was to see the ocean and to hug a redwood. After our touristy jaunt to the Golden Gate Bridge we started Thursday morning communing with trees.

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IMG_1315The kid managed a 2-mile hike through the forest and loved it. We found a few clearings with tiny stone formations from past visitors and I couldn't help but giggle over what Julian Cope would make of these.

IMG_1316After scaling redwoods we visited mountains of metal type at M&H.

IMG_1335Hopping in on a tour of the facility and Arion Press, it was great to see Brian again, doing what he does best, from describing the work to checking forms to wrangling a cranky two-color press.




IMG_1324They have a lot of metal type. I don't know how to describe how overwhelming it is... in cases like this to the substantial hallway full of fonted up, newly cast type. I died a little with the enormity of it.







IMG_1328Brian pulled out some of the special treats to show me and I found more Californian.



IMG_1332Chris explains the casting process.


IMG_1334And with that, here's some serious porn for Jessie at Punky Press, up and coming type caster. It's a room loaded down with matrices for casting, all in their tiny, organized boxes.





IMG_1341Jo should really work for P22 Type Foundry because she's an expert spotter of their type. 'This must be Mr. Rich's type case' she said then walked away.

IMG_1342Finally, we made it to the Renegade Craft Fair at Fort Mason Pavilion. Friday was open only to wholesale buyers and was very low key. We picked up a new account and chatted with many people about our custom capabilities. Mostly I was relieved to tears to see these two: Louisa, one half of Munie Designs (and former Starshaped intern) and Julie, one of half of Letterform and one whole of Nourishing Notes. My people. Hugs!

IMG_1347I felt pretty good about our booth set up this time around, like I finally 'got' how to display things in a way that people can see detail up close. Huge thanks to Dan Grzeca for help on this front, and to Matt at Virgin Wood Type for making my card displays.



IMG_1346And we broke out this new sign commissioned from Moore Wood Type.

IMG_1364Friday felt pretty successful and we headed out to an envelope show at the San Francisco Center for the Book. The place was really hoppin' and everyone could make envelopes while there. If an even remotely crafty project is around, Jo will find it. She made a dozen or more envelopes from their diecut sheets while I poked around at the type.










IMG_1356Louisa and Jeff joined us here as well and made their own envelopes.


We made it to the ocean. Do you remember your first time seeing it? Did it look like this? It was Friday, and I was In Love.

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Before heading into Fort Mason Saturday morning for the fair, we made the obligatory stop at this dangerous place. So good. We also spent every morning at The Mill, enjoying Four Barrel coffee which was too good to be true. No pictures of that; the hipper than thou atmosphere would have given us the boot for sure.

IMG_1362Optimistic! But it wasn't to be. This was one of the worst shows I have ever done. We were all but assured this was the craft fair version of The Sure Thing and the next best thing to the Chicago fair which we have been a part of for the last 5 years. But just before leaving town I found out Starshaped didn't make the cut for Renegade Chicago. I was very disappointed and questioned the reasoning but experience in San Francisco leads me to believe this is a blessing in disguise. Most vendors fared very poorly in San Fran and this may point to the fact that the size of the fair was doubled without vendors being aware of it. There were two buildings and 500 sellers (can't fully say 'makers' as there seemed to be a number of fair trade goods as well) which is completely overwhelming for shoppers. Renegade has never been the most vendor-friendly fair which is fine as long as sales are strong (and they always have been exceptionally strong). But Starshaped isn't looking for 'exposure'; the studio doesn't need to use Renegade as a marketing platform the way a new vendor might, one that is able to write off the loss in sales. We just need the sales. So it looks like we're breaking up with the Renegade gang and will be moving on.

IMG_1363I did manage to get a lot of thank you notes written and Jo made new friends who were also stuck in booths with their parents all weekend. They ran between all of our booths, ate together and schemed, and probably used the free photo booth too much. But hey, it was free, unlike the $3 Diet Coke in a Cup that I got.

IMG_1366And we did get to see our Detroit friends, Arsenal Handicraft, who had the perfect print for the weekend.

IMG_1367One last romp in the ocean and we were on our way to Tahoe for about 8 hours to sleep before the longest part of our trip.


The Letterpress Trail 2015 part two

The Letterpress Trail 2015 part three

The Letterpress Trail 2015 part 2: Bloodier Than Blood

Renegade was devastatingly bad. If we'd had a 'bad' Chicago show, we still would have made enough money to cover the bulk of our entire trip. As it stood, we broke even. This meant throwing everything (and Jo) into the car right after the show ended Sunday night and white knuckling it to Lake Tahoe to sleep before moving on. I had to figure out how to move money around to cover the next week, how to make the car function as so little product sold and it was packed (now with sand dollars and crab legs) and how to not sob continuously in front of Jo. We found a Motel 6 at 11pm and I tried to settle into sleeping before Monday's 12 hour drive. I won't lie; I felt pretty desperate and angry and trapped on the wrong side of the country. IMG_1369

I left each morning as early as possible so that Jo would fall asleep in her tiny back seat. It made the ride faster for her and gave me a few hours to think and listen to angry songs. The angry songs gave way to acceptance, and by the time Kegler sent Endless Grey Ribbon I mustered the patience and sense of purpose to get through the rest of the morning.


We spent quite a bit of time on 50, grabbing gas wherever we could just to be prepared. That said, our mouse of a car gets extremely good mileage and it was my own paranoia that made me stop every time we saw GASOLINE. This route is the traditional Pony Express route and there are many tiny towns that haven't aged in 100 years. I don't have pictures of these; while the worn, hand painted signs and once-stately buildings hold a definite charm, the unfortunate deterioration of an economy to support the humans trying to manage them is not. We soaked up what we could to avoid partaking in 'ruin porn'.


DJ Jen's Musical Interlude: Plenty Times, Wide Eyes, Box Elder, Mother of God

When Jo woke in time to enjoy southern Utah (and it was beautiful) she was ready to rock the rest of the afternoon.

DJ Jo's Musical Interlude: The Party Line, No Cities to Love (this one always makes you feel better, Mom), Nanny Nanny Boo Boo, Stars 4-Ever, Your Cover's Blown


Right about when we stopped for a break and shot this photo, a rock hit us hard. When we got to Grand Junction we had a cracked iPad, iPhone and now windshield. The Sound of Breaking Glass is very expensive. I had the phone repaired in Denver as it was a lifeline for navigation.

We met up with kind and welcoming Tom Parson who toured us around the Englewood Depot, a former train station he's turning into what will be a fantastic print and book arts center. While in its early, rough stages, there is a full basement with easy access to what will be garage doors for loading in presses and an upstairs for small presses, a library and workspace.



Then we visited his home and were blown away by his collection of books and everything related to printing.


A slightly trepidatious Jo heads into the garage to check out the print shop. Every square inch of this place is covered, mostly with type.



Tom pulled out a lot of treasures to share.







IMG_1399  IMG_1402


He's been slowly proofing and cataloging his extensive collection in a few ring bound booklets to keep track of what's there. He's excellent at making notes about whatever he can learn of the type, as well as where he found/purchased it.

IMG_1421 IMG_1422 IMG_1423


I am coveting these things:



Then we rode over to visit Jason Wedekind at Genghis Kern, who has just acquired a building he is setting up as a co-working space. This place is right next door.


The print shop is in the back of the new space and is really coming along.



Visiting print shops can get old when you're eight, but the payoff was worth it; Jason taught Jo how to always win at tic tac toe. I only wish we'd had room to bring some Old Style.



There were a few (and by few I mean hundreds) of records left from the former store next to the co-working space which Jason snagged. No longer lonely LPs, these were headed to good homes, including mine.


From there we went to the home of a former Chicago friend and librarian I had the pleasure to work with a long time ago. It was wonderful to meet little Bea, born about a year after Jo following their move to Denver. Getting a chance to relax, we reminisced over wine and revisited a birth announcement I did for Will. Charles, the older boy on the announcement, celebrated his 15th birthday the day we were there.



Off again to Kansas City, Missouri.


Being welcomed in KCMO with a set of gorgeous Hammerpress prints and cupcakes was a real treat in every sense. We chatted a LOT about the state of running letterpress-based businesses and shared stories. I knew there would be a lot of ornamental eye candy to enjoy here.


IMG_1442Their new retail space is nothing short of stunning.


IMG_1443Matt, Brady and Kate. Unbelievably great to see them all.






IMG_1438Top notch storage system.



IMG_1440The ink drum corps.




From there we headed to Two Tone Press to soak up the talent of these ladies. Their prints and linoleum cutting ability are out of this world. Sometimes, literally.







Huge thanks to Michelle and Angie for welcoming us and sharing their work!

Best Western is Jo's idea of extreme luxury (in-room jacuzzi and the Disney Channel), so we slept well in KC. The next morning we hit Little Freshie and made our way to St. Louis.


This is the home of Firecracker Press, Central Print and the Alpha Beta Club. We got in early enough to park ourselves there for the day and catch up on computer work. Greeted by the sweet sounds of Sam & Dave, this was the perfect, soul-filled balm for a long drive.

Firecracker sits on one side of the building, Central Print on the other and the Alpha Beta Club in the middle. We set up shop there in the middle to be able to see and enjoy everything that happened around us.













Deep into discussion with Kristina about designing and making zines.


Central Print hosts summer workshops for teens and these prints are the result of one that involved pressure printing.


The CP side also sells cards and prints. It's a dangerous section to be in.




Our office for the day.


Firecracker initiated the Letterpress Trail map a few years ago (so maybe this traveling around is their fault?). Eric nearly finished ours off as only he would be allowed to, with a giant sticker. You can still get these prints and collect stamps in all the shops you visit.


We left with some real gems.


Huge thanks to this great gang for welcoming us and letting us be a part of the atmosphere for a day.


That night we went to Perennial for a benefit where Jo and Eric's daughter made some clever cork boards and jewelry.


At First Light we headed out to Columbus. This sign was almost too much. So desperate for Chicago, it was all I could do to turn towards Indianapolis.


But our time in Columbus at the home of Roni and Scott Moore always feels like home. Jo got quality time at the community pool and the impressive zoo while I went at it making wood type under the patient guidance of Scott.


So many patterns, so little time.


Scott has added a laser cutter to his wood type making toolbox and it was fascinating to see it in action, cutting 'new' patterns.


Here are the patterns for the snowflakes we collaborated on last Fall, as well as some of the laser cut versions.



I settled on this ornament and set out to make two.


For these we started with the fine cutting before moving to the rough cut. It's a slow, methodical process that's very easy to mess up. You have to carefully trace the pattern while the cutting side takes care of business.



Here are the final two. Not bad!


Then I moved on to the manicules as I don't have any large sets. The patterns can be used to create any size you desire with adjustments on the pantograph. I opted for a set that is 30 picas long (about 5 inches).


I started with the rough cut on these as you can see on the top piece. The bottom shows the addition of the finer cut, but not the hand finishing that needs to happen to complete the job. Did I mention this is *really* a process?


I made two sets so I could share one with Matt at Virgin as well as sneaking in some sunsets.


We hit a huge and scary pothole on the way into Columbus that severely damaged a front tire and we needed to replace both. Of all the places for this to happen, Columbus was the best possible location. I was grateful for Scott's 'dad mode' kicking in as he found a location that could replace the tires immediately. We had to be in Buffalo the next day so our window was small. Scott and Roni are the most gracious hosts and staying with them is always a comforting pleasure. But it was time to move on again. We found a much needed Car Wash on the way to New York and we were off for the last leg Jo and I would share together.

The Letterpress Trail 2015 part one

The Letterpress Trail 2015 part three

The Letterpress Trail 2015 part 3: Redemption

We made great time getting from Columbus to Buffalo and I safely deposited Jo at my parents' home before leaving shortly after to get to Wells Book Arts Center. I wasn't in the best frame of mind for embarking on a week of teaching. It was hot and I was tweaked, rednecks with confederate flags were everywhere (don't know where to start with this, New York) and I had to find a happy place in which to shift from traveling with an eight year old to successfully communicating with a group of adults I'd see all week. Me and Tsunami worked out a lot of issues on the way to the Finger Lakes. The Summer Institute is a unique opportunity at Wells. Over the course of three weeks instructors in all mediums related to book arts descend upon the place to impart knowledge and high fives, cementing Wells in a place of prominence in many fields. It's an honor to have been included in the line up this year.

Look at this place. It's beautiful and it's full of everything you need to do anything at all related to book arts. My last trip there was so incredibly productive and blissed out that trying to recreate that experience and its sweet pop soundtrack like Right Here seemed like it could be a futile exercise akin to Pet Sematary. Maybe that's a little extreme.


Because then I met the rest of the students that I didn't already know and it became apparent that this group was really special. All seven had experience printing before which was a real novelty and allowed us to move pretty quickly. The first project was to create a pattern that could work as 1- or 2-color. These were exceptionally ambitious and the results were almost unbelievable. It bode well for the rest of the week, which was good since I missed Tuesday morning dealing with kidney stones. This was when Mr. Starshaped texted 'stop saying it can't get any worse.'



We had 24/7 access to the studio and I can vouch for activity between at least 8am-midnight every day. It was a luxury to work until we all fell over with a group of people that constantly pushed the envelope of what was possible with the ornamental collection at hand. It is a stunning and vast collection which definitely aided in speed of production.


My first project was to set a type specimen for newly acquired German type. It's 14 point Didot which is fancy speak for 'pain in the ass 15 point type'. Thankfully it came with its own spacing.


The second student project was to create a letterform out of ornaments. Why do one when you can do two? Most found ways to print their forms in multiple ways or created more than one character. Too bad there wasn't any grading as this group would seriously have earned extra credit. It was completely inspiring to work in the same shop with them and it snapped me out of some of the frustrations I held going into the week, compounded by being in the middle of nowhere and carrying a torch for the Windy City.

DJ Jen's Musical Interlude of Chicago sound: Typesetting Jets, Albini-produced Carolyn, Four Corners





I took a little time to show a few advanced skills like setting type on curves, mitering rule and using a rule curver, much of which students worked into their projects.


I started work on my own project, the second in an upcoming series I'm calling the Well-Traveled Ampersand. This seeks to combine ampersands with the geographic region they were design in/for. Victor Hammer, founder of the Wells College Press, designed this Uncial while at Wells. I added the idyllic Cayuga Lake scene. A handful were left at Wells and included the American Uncial title, set in said typeface.






I found the most boring press in the world, too! All you do is push a button and there's literally time to have a dance party in between prints. No thanks, automatic Vandercook.


First prints, looking good.


Student work continued to collect as the week went by and my help was barely required. I cannot believe the results of the third and final project that involved creating a structure or something architectural. Some were real buildings, some imagined, some were made up cities, one was Boston. The variety and detail surpassed all expectations. I have not had a chance to photograph and document them all yet but am so honored to have come home with a set of everything.


A few sexy details from student type forms.


The print shop looked like this all week... piles of spacing and ornaments and tools and limitless possibilities. Hopes, dreams, aspirations.


Friday night was a showing of all student work produced throughout the week and my class represented well. We even grabbed pedestals so we could show off the type forms used to create many of the prints. This was definitely a highlight.



We had an (un)welcome visitor one night and student Marie took it upon herself to set and print this little 'yearbook'. Everything about it makes me happy and it will always have a special place in my heart. I was in Love with WBAC again.


By about 11am Saturday morning the Center was deserted and I had the place to myself. I wanted to create my own architectural print and threw together this love note to Morgan Hall. Every day I came from my quarters to enter the Book Arts Wants You door. There isn't a lot of 6 point type at Wells but I did my best.





Sunday morning was my last on campus, and I had a lovely post mortem breakfast with Rich Kegler, director of the Center. It has been a year since we first discussed turning my ornamental alphabet into a book and set off a strong partnership between Wells and Starshaped built on mutual respect and a desire to see each succeed with whatever the future tosses our way. Starshaped has had a very rocky year and I have been very close to selling out the studio in recent months. Sometimes the universe sends the right friend to talk you through it, one that inherently knows your own ideas for your work better than you do. Rich has been that person for a long time and his 'you HAVE to keep fighting; Starshaped is YOU' is the fuel I needed to develop a new plan of attack. Former record store nerds always recognize other former record store nerds and I was gifted this mix tape, the early 80s version of the 90s peanut butter and jelly sandwich in terms of cementing friendship.


There's no rest for the wicked, though, and I headed over to meet good friend and Wells grad Jessie at the Cracker Factory. This place has real potential as a thriving letterpress studio and Jessie is working hard to whip it into shape. Everything needs scrubbed and organized so we got right to it, moving type around and cleaning the wood type, of which there is a LOT.









Mindless but methodical and important work was just what I needed. We hit it hard for hours, listened to great music, giggled about secrets and generally enjoyed each others company the whole day. I also found a few exciting metal ornaments that I'd love to work with. Looks like I'll be back.







After a break with family, Jo and I popped by a perennial favorite, the Western New York Book Arts Center. It was bustling with a teen workshop so we didn't stay long. The plan was to print there but plans changed and it was time to head back to Chicago. I can't pretend to be sad about this. I missed my city, the environment, my sweet house, my studio, good cappuccino and Mr. Starshaped. It was time.

DJ Jen's Bringing-It-Home Musical Finale: Almost With You, Stormy Weather, Star Shaped, A Million Miles, Going Home



Here's our completed Letterpress Trail map! It only took a year. I'm proud of this and our adventures as we've gotten to see some incredible shops and meet some even more fantastic people. The letterpress community is so supportive and open to sharing and embracing all types of people and skill sets. A huge thanks to everyone listed here and to those that went out of their way to make us feel at home during some dark moments of exhaustive travel. And a giant hug for the best traveling companion anyone could ever ask for. Jo barely complained, was open to every experience, respected the people and places we met and overall had a great time. She steadied me when at my worst and reminded me that everything was okay. Her random, absurd questions that peppered our conversations (i.e., 'can you scare an insect to death?') took me out of myself and I laughed. She is my heart walking around outside of my body.

Spanning the entire country is not in the cards for next summer. Maybe the East Coast? Give me ten months to stew on it first.


Letterpress Trail 2015 part one

Letterpress Trail 2015 part two