sneak peek: studio tour (gilah press)

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this first sneak peek of the day is a special one for me because it’s the first real working letterpress studio i ever visited: gilah press in baltimore, maryland. it’s the perfect mix of fun and sophistication, combining modern technology with good old fashioned printing. with mica grad kat feuerstein at the helm, it’s the kind of place that you’d look forward to going to work everyday. and just like the day i visited, kat gladly opened the doors of her studio for our first sneak peek of the day (you can click here for more images, and make sure to keep your eyes out for pica the studio cat!). stay tuned for another great studio tour at 12pm. [Thanks, Kat!] anne

[Above: Ah, “The Pink Warehouse”, as we so lovingly refer to it. It’s actually more of a salmon color, but “Salmon Warehouse” sounds like we package and process salmon, the fish. Ew. Our rickety mailbox has been abused by neighborhood brats a few times, so we refuse to get a nice one, but I do pine for a stainless steel industrial looking mailbox. Alas, the black plastic one that is now taped shut will have to suffice…]

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This is where all of the hand work magic happens. The table, which we love, was also left in the space for us. Measuring 10’ x 2.5’, it gives ample room for packaging, cutting, pasting, all of our hands-on kind of stuff. The light-up moustache on the wall is on loan from a friend of ours who had made it as a prop for a party called “Don’t Touch My Moustache”. It makes for great party light, even if it’s not a moustache-themed party.

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A nice chill area (for Pica, mainly) in between work spaces. The time clock is to keep Pica on track and make sure she’s earning her keep. The poster on the wall is from a Jeff Tweedy show. That’s Maggie in the background, one of our interns, and Kat’s office to the left.

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Straight ahead is our client meeting area. Its most unique feature is our chandelier that was custom made by Wholly Terra Studio out of recycled Bombay Sapphire bottles. The design was inspired by a piece done by Tejo Remy of the Droog Design movement. The brown wall showcases two original pieces (one shown) by Dave Plunkert of Spur Design. They are on loan to us since we are his tenants. The lockers were included in the space when we moved in; form AND function, wow. Guess it pays to have a cool landlord. (Check out the Spur Design sneak peek here).

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Our proof press was salvaged from a garage nearby. It is by far our simplest piece of machinery; the type sits on the bed and is hand inked. Paper goes on top and the (heavy) roller to the left is then just rolled over it to create the print. The sculpture that hangs on the wall behind it was created by Jacob Cecil and is a set of long hand-carved alphabet stamps. The detail to the left shows the carved letters on the ends.

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This is Whitney running our most used press, “Stinky”. We named him that because when we brought him into our studio the whole place smelled like mildew and rust. Hours of scrubbing and lots of love brought him to tip top shape. He’s now our fave, but don’t tell the others…

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When you look to the right as you enter our studio, you’re greeted by our gnome. He doubles as our door stop. On the wall hangs our (sadly unframed) monoprint we picked up at Hatch Show Print on our studio road trip to letterpress shops in Tennessee last fall. Underneath stands our receiving table that sees everything that comes in and out of the studio.

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There you have it, Gilah Press + Design headquarters!

  1. rifferaff says:

    ooh, are studio tours going to become a regular feature? i love this.

  2. kathrynsky says:

    uiuiui,
    i want a big Moustache, too!!

  3. Kristan says:

    I LOVE that client meeting area!! Haha, more like what I’d want for my living room.

  4. Petchy says:

    Oooh, I wanna work there!!! Seriously! If it wasn’t such a hideous commute… umm… Norway to the US and back maybe not… lol

  5. Jen says:

    I love the studio tours like fat kids like cake!

  6. I agree, these studios tours are great!Always in enjoy seeing where artisans work and create.

  7. That moustache is unbelievable! Any chance your friend would sell it?

  8. julia says:

    so awesome. can anyone come and visit? or would that be annoying?

  9. Meg says:

    The press! The press!! Oh…my. I want to visit!

  10. kat says:

    Anyone can come and visit, just be sure to schedule a time with us first!

  11. Andre says:

    Wow, as often as i’m downtown, i never knew Baltimore had such an awesome place like this! Would love to come by and check it out this summer. And what a great spot to be able to call that your job!

  12. steve baker says:

    awesome blog and i love how Pica sits so nicely in front of the light!! have fun and keep up the awesome work!!!

  13. Patrick says:

    waheey, looking good, but operating a treadle press in sandals, it makes me shudder just thinking about it

  14. julie says:

    is that a real cat?

  15. Fela Cortés says:

    I just bought some of your postcards at Cursive and were wondering – who the heck are these talented ladies? Nice to know – beautiful studio!

  16. anakuhn says:

    I wold love to get a moustache lamp like the one displayed in your first photo. I have a friend who has a moustache just like it.

  17. Meredith says:

    I want that mustache,i’m looking for one of those currently.

  18. Adam says:

    I attended a studio tour at Gilah, and honestly the place is beautiful. Everything is perfect, down to the little details. I would gladly live there!

  19. Kirsten Wolle says:

    How do I become an intern?

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