Meet Hazel, The 80 Year Old Letterpress
I recently reviewed the Parcel Post Seasonal Subscription Box and July/Birthday Stationary Box Set from Idea Chic, a small company in my hometown of Denver that is dedicated to keeping alive the tradition of handwritten notes and cards. I was lucky enough to be invited to visit their facilities and see their operations. David and Julie, the owners and crafters of Idea Chic, are truly proud of their handmade products.
Idea Chic’s main presence is online on websites like etsy and Amazon. In fact, Amazon visited Idea Chic to do a feature on them for Handmade at Amazon! But nestled in a small cove of businesses is their quaint boutique.
Every single item is designed and made in this little workshop, with a good portion of items printed by hand, one by one, on a 1930s Chandler and Price letterpress named Hazel.
This is the real deal. Pure steel. Literally weighting a ton. The foot pedal has been removed and replaced with a motor, but it is still started by turning the wheel by hand.
The round surface turns and is where the ink goes. It comes forward, inks the plate, which then presses on the paper. Each plate has been designed by Julie.
The plates get held together by blocks, also called “furniture.”
Only one card can be printed at a time. David demoed the letterpress for me, starting slowly so I could see how the machine works. I am sure he moves very swiftly switching out the cards, as it can be a long process! The letterpress can only print one color at a time, so it takes a lot of precision and accuracy. Only cards with 2 colors get printed using the letterpress. Cards and items with 3 or more colors are flat printed.
My favorite paper that Idea Chic prints on is the thick cotton card. They also print on wood. How cool!
It is clear that David and Julie love what they do. So much care is put into their work and craftsmanship and display.
I love their Christmas items, especially the Santa tags. So cute!
One of their most popular items is the Pop Fizz Clink napkins. Perfect for a wedding!
It was so interesting to see how a 1930s letterpress worked. It is so impressive that it is still being used! What David and Julie do is truly artwork. If you are ever in Denver, be sure to check out the boutique!
4340 E Kentucky Ave., ste 121
Glendale, CO 80246
Phone: 303-884-RSVP (7787)