This season, we could all use a little peace, love and understanding. That's why we partnered with Richard Seibert Letterpress, in Berkeley, California, on a special set of limited-edition letterpress cards, included with every purchase while supplies last. These handsome prints make a perfect card, decoration, or desktop reminder of the spirit of the season. We asked Richard to tell us a little more about his work, and what went into this project. Here's what he told us.
"Printers come from one of three kinds of people: poets, religious fanatics or political cranks, all three of whom have something they desperately want to tell the world that the world doesn’t care whether or not it hears. You can add artists in there too. I have always been a reader, but it never occurred to me that you could actually make a book. I threw away a steady job, with a 401k, and now all’s I have is work, but I’ve never looked back. I just think printing is about the coolest thing you can do. I was a cook for fifteen years at Chez Panisse before I knew anything about printing. David Lance Goines (famed Berkeley poster artist) came through the restaurant, [and] I asked him 'Excuse me Mr. Goines, how much would you charge me to print a small broadside?' A look came over his face I was soon to know all too well. He replied 'Do you know how to print?' I said No. He told me to come down on my day off and he’d show me...David basically gave me free reign of his shop and only enough supervision to keep me from hurting myself. I was in heaven."
What do you love about this project now that it's done?
"Is this a trick question? It’s never done. About your job in particular I got the sense you wanted the 'impression' aspect of letterpress emphasized, so I broke down my press and used a particular combination of tympan and packing so that it turned into a counter to emphasize the depth of impression. I’ve never done it exactly this way before. Every job is a new experiment. It’s only boring if you want it to be."