Press Press Merch/Appalachia Press tour

2 Feb

The folks at Ad2 Roanoke had another great event planned for the masses. A lunch-time tour of two of Roanoke’s finest printers’ shops. Enter Press Press Merch and Appalachia Press. My co-worker Suzanne and I made the trip up from Blacksburg for what they called the “Brown Bag Series: The Fine Art of Printing.” We pulled up to an unassuming warehouse-looking building off of Albemarle Avenue. As we walked through the doors, we were welcomed with open arms, warm smiles, pizza, and desserts by Hired Guns Creative‘s Erica and Patrick, along with Greg Szechenyi from Press Press and John Reburn from Appalachia Press.

Greg walked around their print shop, taking us through the production of a normal screen printing job, showing off their massive 10-station, 8-color automatic press and vacuum exposure unit. Running my own screen printing business out of my home, having a shop anywhere close to what Press Press has would have been incredible. Later, Greg showed off their showroom, highlighting various printing techniques like soft-touch inks, 4-color printing, and discharge inks, which removes the pigment from the shirt in a non-toxic way. The whole time we were there, the Press Press crew was working seamlessly and professionally in the background, like there weren’t any strange people wondering around their shop.

John took over and led us a few feet through a doorway, bringing us into the Appalachia Press shop. There was a distinct smell of “Old Stuff™,” which should be a signature Appalachia Press candle scent. You’re welcome, John. Old presses, wood, steel, and iron. *Deep breath…ahhhhhh. What a lovely smell that is. As he led us through his workshop, John shared a brief history of how he got into letterpress, what he uses each piece of machinery for, and then explained the printing process for various letterpress jobs. There are some different processes that he goes through based on the type of job that comes in. Whether it involves hand-cut stencils, sending art out to be made into a block, or screen printing, every job always includes lots of hands-on work. Getting his hands dirty and lifting heavy equipment is how John stays fit. Having a new retail store in downtown Roanoke, a steady stream of online shoppers, and many resellers all over the country keeps Appalachia’s presses moving. John is working on plans to run a few workshops this summer, so stay in the loop on their Facebook page.

Thanks again to Press Press Merch and Appalachia Press’s hospitality, and to Ad2 for hosting such a wonderful event. And for those who couldn’t make it out, nanny nanny boo boo, stick your head in doo doo. You missed out.

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2 Responses to “Press Press Merch/Appalachia Press tour”

  1. rdelaude February 2, 2012 at 2:16 pm #

    This looks awesome, so sad that I missed it!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. friday blinks – 2/3/12 « designblinks - February 3, 2012

    […] other news… If you didn’t see yesterday, I made a post about my trip to two of Roanoke’s print shops, Press Press Merch and Appalachia Press. Ad2 […]

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