John Jānis Šteins

:: Artist ::

My Letterpress

Here’s a Chandler & Price letterpress I recently purchased. It’s a platen press with a chase size of approximately 6 inches by 10 inches. This acquisition is something that’s been on the back burner for years.

Chandler Price LetterpressI’ve been harboring a desire to experiment with letterpress equipment for a long time. This past summer I took part at a letterpress symposium here in Dawson City at the historic Dawson Daily News building.

That experience really motivated me to find a press of my own to work with. The one I bought, pictured here, is smaller than the 8 x 12 inch treadle operated model we used at the symposium.

The workshop was lead by Peter Braune of New Leaf Editions on Granville Island in Vancouver. Peter had to do some work on the older press in order to get it working.

Chandler & Price Platen Press

The previous owner of my letterpress used it for printing small wood engravings which of course is something I’m interested in using it for. As long as the block doesn’t exceed 6 inches in one direction.

Unfortunately I don’t have possession of this letterpress as of yet although it’s paid for etc. I’m working on getting it crated and shipped from Minnesota. It weighs about 150 lbs, a little too heavy for the Post Office I’m afraid.

Hopefully by the time the new year rolls around I’ll have found a way to get it into my studio. Even though it’s in working condition with recently resurfaced rollers I would like to clean it up and maybe even repaint it.

I have some lead type I can use for the time being. If this process really turns me on I’ll be scouring the net for more fonts, etc. I will need a composing stick for sure.

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  1. Bob December 8, 2012

    Try using U-Ship to get your press shipped to you.

  2. John Steins December 8, 2012 — Post author

    Thanks, I’ll look into it. I also have hire someone to build a crate for it.

  3. John Steins January 17, 2013 — Post author

    My press has arrived to Point Roberts, WA. Now I will have to find a way to get it up to the Yukon. Not to mention muscling the thing into my studio!

  4. Vivian McIntosh September 25, 2013

    Wish you were teaching…

  5. John Steins September 25, 2013 — Post author

    Aww, that’s sweet Vivian. Maybe we should open a printmaking/graphic arts department at the school.


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