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Sarah Parrott, Rhode Island Vendor: Invitation Designer Website: Parrott Design Studio About Me: I am the designer & printer behind Parrott Design Studio, specializing in custom letterpress and screen printed wedding and event invitations, stationery, and paper goods. With a background in non-profit marketing & art history, I began the studio in 2006 in my small apartment in Providence, RI. Since then I have moved to a studio built my fiancé, acquired a Golding Jobber letterpress, & have been happily printing ever since. I grew up in Portland, Maine, and I have always had an affinity for the ocean, mountains, birds, gardening, & the simple life. When I am not printing, I can be found somewhere outside with my fiancé & playful pup.
About Sarah @ Parrott Design Studio

Hello!  I hope you had a fun, long weekend.  While I did get some relaxation in with a little camping trip, I spent a lot of the weekend printing.  The wedding invitations I am printing are for friends.  They were interested in seeing the letterpress process, so I took a few photos and decided to share them with you!

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I mix of all of my inks by hand using the Pantone Matching System {PMS}. This specific blue is PMS7459 which actually corresponds with Paper Source’s Lake.


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My press is non-electric and human-powered by spinning the flywheel on the left. This means letterpress in my studio takes a little time. It also means my left arm is noticeably larger than my right!

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I spin the flywheel while turning the inking plate {the now blue disc under the three rollers in this photo} until all of the ink is evenly distributed on the rollers and plate. My press is from 1898, so as you may imagine a few pieces are missing, but nothing that hinders the printing process or outcome. However I need to do many things manually, such as turning the inking plate.

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I use magnesium dies for all of my printing. Once my ink is ready, I place my die and furniture into the chase. The chase is a metal frame and the furniture are wood blocks of various widths and lengths that fill the chase for lock up. Above the die you will see a quoin, which is turned with a key to tighten everything in place in the chase. Hmm… make sense? Take a look at the next photo.

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Here I am placing the chase into my press. As you will see the chase does not lie flat, therefore everything needs to be locked in place or it is going to move when the rollers ink it up.

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Locked and ready to go.

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Here you can see the rollers have gone over the die, inking the surface.

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Once the paper to be printed is lined up with the die, it is held in place with gauge pins on tympan, which is hard paper, inserted on the platen. Here the blank piece of paper is ready for the ink.

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Letterpress as we know it today is highly sought-after due to the impression made on the paper. This impression can be controlled by adjusting the packing {extra pieces of paper} behind the piece of paper to be printed or by adjusting the platen. I like the impression to be noticeable to the eye and by touch, but I do not like it when the impression is so deep the paper cracks or when the impression is really noticeable on the backside of the paper. Occasionally only a kiss, when the die just touches the paper and little to no impression is made, is acceptable, especially with double-sided jobs.

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Voilà!  The first color of the first invitation is complete.  109 left to go!  Then time for the second color.  I will have photos of the complete wedding suite to share with you later this week.  I hope you enjoyed this little letterpress “tour.”  Until then…

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11 Responses to “Meet My Golding Letterpress”

1.
Mrs. French Bulldog
Bee
Mrs. French Bulldog (message)  7,726 posts, Bumble Beekeeper

Thank you so much for showing me how that works :) and I love that invite, the boat is so pretty!

 
2.
Miss Poodle
Bee
Miss Poodle (message)  3,386 posts, Sugar bee

That is so cool!! I always wondered how the letterpress looks when it’s working :) great shots and lovely invite :)

 
3.
Mrs. Penguin
Bee
Mrs. Penguin (message)  3,471 posts, Sugar bee

I love seeing the process! thanks for sharing! I’d love to see the process when you do several colors. It looks so cool!

 
4.
Guest Icon
Guest
Blair

i’ve always wondered what the behind the scenes look like for letterpress… way more labor intensive than gocco! =)

i’ve thought about getting into it… however, i’d have no place to put the press!

keep up the great work

 
5.
Bee Icon
Bee
Miss Beagle (message)  1,381 posts, Bumble bee

This is so interesting- thanks for sharing!

 
6.
Jessie Blum @ Eclectic Unions
Pro
Jessie Blum @ Eclectic Unions (message)  360 posts, Helper bee

This is so cool! And that blue is just such a perfect shade. Very neat to see what goes into letter pressing and SO COOL that it’s such an old machine!

 
7.
evelinej
Member
evelinej (message)  370 posts, Helper bee

Oh wow, it’s a long process. Thanks for sharing it!

 
8.
Member Icon
Member
spwingal (message)  13 posts, Newbee

Beautiful! Printmaking takes such patience and precision!

 
9.
LatteLove
Hostess
LatteLove (message)  5,567 posts, Bee Keeper

amazing! This is really fun to see!

 
10.
Guest Icon
Guest
Set Sail Wedding Invitations » Weddingbee PRO » The Wedding Blog

[...] slips right by, especially when I am trying to get projects out the door.  As a follow up to my recent letterpress post, here is the final product!  John, the groom, was a friend from college {go PC!}. He and Kelly [...]

 
11.
Guest Icon
Guest
PRO: Set Sail Wedding Invitations » Weddingbee » The Wedding Blog

[...] just slips right by, especially when I am trying to get projects out the door. As a follow up to my recent letterpress post, here is the final product! John, the groom, was a friend from college {go PC!}. He and Kelly were [...]

 

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Sarah @ Parrott Design Studio
Sarah @ Parrott Design Studio Sarah Parrott, Rhode Island Vendor: Invitation Designer Website: Parrott Design Studio About Me: I am the designer & printer behind Parrott Design Studio, specializing in custom letterpress and screen printed wedding and event invitations, stationery, and paper goods. With a background in non-profit marketing & art history, I began the studio in 2006 in my small apartment in Providence, RI. Since then I have moved to a studio built my fiancé, acquired a Golding Jobber letterpress, & have been happily printing ever since. I grew up in Portland, Maine, and I have always had an affinity for the ocean, mountains, birds, gardening, & the simple life. When I am not printing, I can be found somewhere outside with my fiancé & playful pup.
 
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