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Shop Twin Ravens Press at Elephants Delicatessen

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Portland, Oregon!  Check out our newest retailer!  You can now shop for adorable Twin Ravens Press cards and coasters at Elephants Delicatessen on NW 22nd!  Elephants has had the pleasure of providing awesome local food and other products to the Portland area and beyond since 1979!  From great local wines and cheeses, handmade sandwiches, catering, coffee & tea, and a scrumptious bakery, Elephants is a great place to grab a bite and also shop for great local gifts and foodie items!  We’re so happy they’re carrying our stationery and coasters! Next time you’re in the NW 23rd area, stop by Elephants, grab a bite to eat and pick up a card or two!

Are you an Oregon retailer looking to carry Twin Ravens Press cards and paper goods?  Head on over to our wholesale application and get in touch, or get in touch with our regional manufacturer’s rep, LeAnn Wassom, of The Vintage Collection.  We’d be happy to work with you!  Not in Oregon, but still want to carry our products?  Click the link above to our wholesale application and contact us!  We’re happy to ship anywhere!

February Custom Printing Special | Baby Announcements & Shower Invitations!

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One of my favorite people (Hi, Isha!) is about to have a baby any day now (she’s due this Friday) and in celebration of her impending tiny person’s arrival, I wanted to offer 20% off of all custom printed baby announcements and shower invitations to you, for the month of February*.  You can check out many of the adorable announcements we’ve designed and printed in the past in our Baby Announcements section!

Are you throwing a shower or having a kiddo of your own this spring, but not during the month of February?  That’s cool too!  Place your order with a signed contract and down payment for future work by February 29th and receive 20% off of your future printing too!

*Please note: discount excludes platemaking, special-order materials, and shipping.

 

 

New Ways to Keep Up With Us in Social Media

Hey Everybody!  Long time, no see!  It’s been a busy summer for Twin Ravens Press with a whole lot of exciting new happenings for me to share with you, including, but not limited to the following:

• We have a new 1938 printing press in our shop, lovingly nicknamed “Jules Vern”

• We are now offering foil stamping!  Keep watch on this blog for pictures to come of some really gorgeous, shiny things!

• We recently completed a new limited edition map collaboration with McKenzie Maps – this year’s theme was “Rivers of Oregon”

• New greeting cards are about to be released for wholesalers and Etsy shoppers for Fall!

• I have so many new and gorgeous wedding invitations, birth announcement and business custom projects to show you, I don’t even know where to start.

But, until I get to all of that, I also thought you should know that Twin Ravens Press is expanding our Social Media offerings.  If you’ve been looking for us on Instagram or Twitter, look no further!  We can now be found in all the following places:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/twinravenspress

Twitter: @TwinRavensPress

Instagram: TwinRavensPress

Etsy: www.etsy.com/twinravenspress

Thanks so much for all of your support and comments!  Regularly blogging will resume shortly!!

Join Us Tomorrow for the Letterpress Printer’s Fair in Portland, OR!

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If you’re in Portland, Oregon, join us tomorrow for the 5th Annual Portland Letterpress Printer’s Fair, held in conjunction with Design Week Portland!  This year’s fair is going to be held from noon to 7pm on Saturday, October 12th at the Oregon Rail Heritage Center, which is located at 2250 SE Water Avenue.  Twin Ravens Press will be selling new greeting cards and paper goods along with old favorites.  There will also be several other independent artists, designers and small studios represented at the fair.  Come down and visit and see the wide variety of awesome letterpress goods we and our fellow Pacific Northwest artists have to offer.  Admission is free and Ninkasi Brewing is donating beer for the event!  We hope to see you there!!

Join us at The First Friday Artwalk!

Twin Ravens Press was delighted to be selected as a guest artist for the month of December at Out on a Limb Gallery in Eugene!  Come down and visit me tonight at Out on a Limb as part of The First Friday Artwalk!  Out on a Limb is located at 191 E. Broadway in Eugene, next to Cafe Zenon and Footwise.  I’ll be there with fun holiday letterpress goodies from 6:00 pm on into the evening!

Out on a Limb features beautiful woodworking from artists Jeff Bandow, Tim Boyden and Drew Parrish year round.  There will also be four other guest artists showing various works throughout the month of December, including Donna Crispin, Laura Robson, Reed Gray and Kelly Beal.  Donna is a fiber artist who specializes in basketry with natural materials.  Laura creates beautiful felted bowls and vessels.  Reed is a wood turner who will be displaying wooden bowls and rolling pins, and Kelly will be sharing her sterling silver and leather jewelry.

If you’re in Eugene tonight, come down to the First Friday Artwalk, enjoy drinks and appetizers and say hi to me and these other awesome local artists!  You may even get some of your holiday shopping done in the meantime!  See you tonight!

Shop Twin Ravens Press at Oregon College of Art & Craft

The holidays are in full swing in our studio with lots and lots of custom and non-custom holiday card printing happening!  Before I show off some of the awesome and adorable custom holiday cards though we’ve been working on for the past few weeks, I wanted to give a quick shout-out to our newest retailer, The Shop at Oregon College of Art & Craft!  I met MaryAnn of OCAC at The Portland Letterpress Printer’s Fair back in October and I’m so glad that she’s been enjoying having our greeting cards in her shop!  If you’re in Portland and haven’t had a chance to visit OCAC, get on it!  The Shop at OCAC is open year-round, 7 days a week from 10 am – 3 pm and is located at 8245 SW Barnes Road in Portland.  They can be reached by phone at: 971.255.4138 or by email at [email protected].  They also have a facebook page and website of their very own!

Thanks so much for working with us MaryAnn!  Happy Holidays!

Check Out Our New Digs!

Hi All!  Happy Halloween!  If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you may remember that we moved into a new studio space at the beginning of July.  The new space is awesome, and I’ve been meaning to blog about it for a while (with pictures!), but I hadn’t because I kept thinking to myself, “If I wait a week we’ll be a little more setup”, or “If I wait a bit longer things will be a little tidier…”, or some similar sentiment.  Well, the truth is, things are never entirely tidy, or setup, or completely-put-together in my world, and I decided that now was as good of a time as any.  Without further ado, check out our new space!

Our trusty New Style 8×12 C&P made the trek across town beautifully with the help of my dear friend, and fellow letterpress printer, Bob Giles.  Bob also helped me move our beast of a paper cutter, which you can see in the photo below on the top right.  I don’t know what I’d do without him!

Shortly after our move Bob also semi-permanently loaned us this Challenge Proof Press.  It had a bunch of paper on it when I took this photo, but we’ve since used it to pull color proofs of different jobs and I’d love to use it to print some signage or small posters later this year.

The new studio has an upstairs office space which is great for keeping finished things separate from all of our heavy machinery.  We’ve got greeting cards out and on display up there too!

Thanks to the help of my good friend, Eleanor, we actually have a more efficient way of organizing our invitation samples now too!  Check them out: all categorized and color-coded.  This is a level of organization that is fairly new to us, just sayin’.

And, last, but not least, a huge thank you goes out to Jorma & Kevin Walpoff for helping us move our laser cutter across town, and install the new ventilation system for it!  I still have a lot of catch-up to do on this blog to show you all of the awesome laser-cut projects we’ve been doing, but, trust me, those are coming shortly, and in the meantime, you get to check out what the green machine looks like in it’s new space!

If you’re in Eugene, Twin Ravens Press gladly welcomes studio visits.  Please call ahead in advance to reserve a time.

Visit Us at the 5th Annual Portland Letterpress Printer's Fair!

Hey Everybody!  Long time, no see!  I have been a terrible blogger this summer.  As you read in my last post (that happened in the middle of June) a lot new has been happening this summer for us logistically, as well as keeping up with all of the awesome new design and letterpress stuff we would have been doing anyway.  We moved into our new space in July and it’s awesome!  I still need to take some pictures to post up here and show you – but, trust me, it’s pretty great!

More updates and photos of awesome new work are coming soon, but in the meantime, if you’re going to be in Portland, Oregon tomorrow, Saturday, October 13th, you should come down and visit us at the 5th Annual Portland Letterpress Printer’s Fair.  This year the fair is being held at a new location: ADX, which is located at 417 SE 11th.  This year’s fair is going to feature lots of printed ephemera and other goodies, letterpress equipment and supplies for sale, printing demos, Kyle Durrie’s Moveable Type Truck, and live viewing of the Print Make Share Challenge.  It should be pretty awesome!!  The 2012 Letterpress Printer’s Fair is also happening in conjunction with Design Week Portland, so there’s going to be a lot of other, awesome, design-related stuff to see in the area.  So, if you’re in the Portland area, and have interest in letterpress printing, great design, moveable type, Twin Ravens Press, and/or all of the above, come on out to ADX between noon and 7:00 pm!  I’ll look forward to seeing you!!

 

 

A Cautionary Tale…

Hello blog & lovely blog readers!  I have missed you!  It’s sure been a long time.  I’ll admit, I have bouts where I’m much better at frequent blogging than others, but you haven’t seen hide nor hair of me in over two months!  My sincere apologies.  I do have a good excuse for my abrupt and extremely lengthy absence, however.  If you are a current customer or friend, or if you were back at the end of March, you’ve already heard this story personally, but if you aren’t or you’re new to this space, I want to share with you the terrible accident I was in that caused me to be out of this for so long.

Allow me to preface this by saying that what happened to me was terrible, but it could have been a lot worse.  I, as well as almost every other letterpress printer I know, have heard stories of other printers losing fingers entirely to their equipment.  The gentleman I apprenticed under was trained by his father and his father lost two of his fingers to the gears on his press.  After his accident, he still continued printing until about two weeks before his death.  He was in his ’80s.  I, however, still have all of my fingers and am making a relatively swift and full recovery.  I consider myself immensely lucky and fortunate for how this situation worked out.

A little over eight weeks ago, on the afternoon of Wednesday, March 30th, I was in an accident involving a letterpress that crushed several bones and tendons in my right hand and broke both my index and middle fingers.  Generally speaking, letterpress printing is usually very safe.  The printing process does involve a lot of large, antique, heavy machinery, that when operated safely poses very little risk for injury.  Despite this though, accidents can happen.  I’ve been letterpress printing as the proprietor of Twin Ravens Press for the last four years, and have been letterpress printing in other capacities for the past nine years.  This is my first, and, hopefully, will be my only accident involving this equipment.

Occasionally I take on interns from the University of Oregon.  Most of my interns are either art or journalism students who are interested in the printing process, and I teach them about letterpress printing and how to print, in exchange for help around my shop, and they receive college credit.  I had had a new intern at that time who had been coming by once a week for about three weeks prior and I had instructed her to come up with a project that she wanted to print in order to learn the process.  She designed a set of business cards for herself, and on March 30th, we were to begin printing them.  I helped my intern set up the press and demonstrated how to feed paper in and out of it to create well registered prints.  The press we were working on was a motor-driven, 8×12 Chandler & Price platen press.  It’s about 980 lbs. and sits on about a 3 foot square footprint.  It looks like this:

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When it was her turn to print, I was standing on the left side of the press near the giant flywheel that you see in the foreground of the photo, and I was operating the handle that you see sticking up.  This handle is the print/trip handle.  When it is in an upright position (like in the photo), the platen of the press comes about 3/8″ from closing as the press runs, but doesn’t close all the way.  When the handle is pulled forward, the platen closes all the way, which is what creates a print.  My intern was practicing feeding paper into the press and taking it out and was truly doing a great job as a beginner!  She mentioned at one point though that she was nervous about how quickly the press opens and closed and didn’t want to feed the paper all the way in.  Here’s where my mistake came in.  I was watching my intern who was standing at the front of the press (where she should be), and decided to reach over the top of the flywheel and into the platen to adjust her paper, while the motor was running.  I was looking at my intern and not paying full attention to what I was doing with my hands.  The platen, which is made up of the two, large, steel halves of the press that physically press your paper and printing plate together to create a print closed on my hand.  It only took about 30 seconds from when I put my hand in there and when the press re-opened for the smashing to occur.  Luckily, the press was on “trip”, not “print”, so the platen didn’t close all the way, however, hands are a lot thicker than 3/8″ and the speed and pressure of the press closing for that mere 30 seconds was enough to break two of my fingers and cause significant damage to the rest of my hand.  I’ll spare you a lot of the gory details, but let me just say that there weren’t even choice 4-letter words to describe what that felt like.  Fellow Letterpress Printer Friends: Don’t ever do this – it’s terrible, and an experience that no one deserves to have.  Even if you think you know how quickly your press opens and closes, make sure you can see your hands and pay full attention to what you’re doing, at all times.

My intern rushed me to the hospital where I spent the next three and a half hours getting x-rays and lots and lots of ice.  While I was there my hand swelled up to about the size of a small grapefruit and the doctors couldn’t do anything to fix it until the swelling went down.  So, they put me in a splint and sent me home.  I went back in about a week and was put in a hard cast.  The hard cast was on for a couple more weeks and then I was re-splinted for three-ish more weeks.  I’ve been out of the splints and casts now for almost two weeks and doing physical therapy, and I’m getting much better.  My injury didn’t require surgery, and while I’m still a little swollen, and have one scar across the top of my hand (that they say will probably go away with time), I feel really lucky.  I can move both of the fingers that were broken and can type and pick things up almost the way I used to.  I still can’t pick up heavy objects and am having some minor dexterity problems, but I’m working with occupational hand therapists to correct this and they expect me to make a full recovery.  I’ve started printing again, and am slowly taking on new jobs.

I have a lot of wonderful people to thank for helping me out over the last two months.  In particular, my very supportive boyfriend Alex, and good friend Darcy Jeffs.  Darcy is starting up her own letterpress business, Neue School Press, and she has been giving up her weekends for the last two months to come to my shop and help me print my client’s jobs.  Without all of her help, I would have had to turn away a lot of work and a lot of clients whom I was already in the middle of working on jobs with.  She’s been amazing.  I also owe a huge thanks to Katie Campbell for typing countless emails for me while I couldn’t type, and to Robin Bachtler Cushman, Sarah Degrandis, Ben Weiner, Eleanor Dizon, Emma Froh and Bob Giles for volunteering their time to help me do my job when I couldn’t.  I also owe thanks to a handful of wonderful current and former clients who sent flowers, cards and/or care packages upon hearing about my accident.  You really helped brighten my days those first few weeks!  Thank you.  I’ve been overwhelmed by how truly understanding and patient just about everyone has been with this situation, and I feel very lucky to have such wonderful clients and supportive friends in my life.  You all rock!

Now, for those who are curious, I did take a few photos on and off throughout the healing process.  If somewhat gruesome pictures make you squeamish, you may want to stop reading now.  Our regularly scheduled blogging about awesome letterpress will resume next week.  Thanks so much for sticking with me!

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The Pressman | BnS Letterpress Video

A very good friend of mine, Bob Giles, sent me a link to this video yesterday.  I wanted to share it with you all because, not only is it a neat interview with him, but it also has a lot of footage of Bob’s letterpress print shop as well as some historic printing footage.  Without the help of Bob, Twin Ravens Press probably wouldn’t be in existence today.  Shortly after I graduated from college, Bob took me under his wing and taught me a vast majority of what I know about letterpress printing.  He’s an amazing guy, and I’m so happy that I ran into him years ago.

This video was produced by University of Oregon School of Journalism student, Isaac Viel.  Check it out!

The Pressman from Isaac Viel on Vimeo.