I've printed my first wedding invitations, as a gift for Jo and Cam who will marry in March. They are pretty austere invites by today's fashions, just text (Outline Shadow and Verona faces) printed in blue ink on some old creamy embossed cards that I was given a while ago. The only reason I know anything about fashion in wedding invitations is because when one is looking for letterpress links on the internet, inevitably wedding invitations come to light as the bread and butter of many (most?) printers trying to make a living from letterpress. I don't get invited to many weddings myself, and the few I've been to lately have used homemade laser printed invitations. But out there in the world of aspirational wedding fashion deep impression letterpress invites are apparently the thing to have.
One of the entertaining letterpress blogs* I've discovered recently is Poppy Letterpress, in which a young Canberra graphic designer gets engaged, decided to make her own wedding invitations and takes up letterpress printing with great gusto. She has also very recently bought a Chandler and Price Old Style press, which from the photos, is very much like mine. I hope she is enjoying her C&P more than I am my one, I suspect so since until now she has been working on an Adana table press with much frustration.
Unfortunately the more I work with the C&P the more I appreciate the Arab. Yesterday I was die cutting circles on the C&P and printing invitations on the Arab and the opportunity for comparison did no favours to the new press. The C&P is so big and heavy that it is difficult to maintain momentum at the slow pace I like to print. In contrast, the Arab is little and lithe, and I know it so well that I can be very agile with it. I now realise how lucky I was to get my start in letterpress on this sweet beauty.
I don't regret buying the C&P but I'm not sure I want to keep it either. If someone made me an offer for it (and it would be a perfect press for a taller, stronger, faster printer) I could probably say goodbye without tears. Parting from the Arab, on the other hand, would break my heart.
*I finally got round to updating my links section down on the right there, scroll down and you'll find it. As well as old favourites you'll find lots of lovely letterpress websites and blogs. Enjoy!