On November 7, 2011, The Union Leader published a huge article about me in the front page of the Monday's Business. Remember that?
I promised back then that I would write out the full articles for those who couldn't get the paper that day. It read like this:
Passion for printing
By Denis Paiste
Entrepreneur makes an impression: Manchester's Sara Tejada embraces the letterpress art — a printing method from a bygone era using textured paper and impressed text for images no inkjet printer can match.
Fingers reddish pink from hand-applying ink to her 1920's vintage letterpress, Sara Tejada explains how she was captured by the printing bug.
"I was working at a greeting card company at the time, and they took us to the national stationery show in New York. That's where I saw letterpress. I came back and I was in love with it," she said.
She started with a really small press from her step-grandfather, Russell Holt of Candia. She also has his collection of old metal and wood type.
"Ever since, I've been hooked — hooked — since 2007," she said. Now she's living her dream. "This is what I want to do," she said.
Tejada, 27, came here from the Dominican Republic after high school and graduated from Keene State College in 2006, with a degree in graphic design.
Tejada found a new home this summer for Inkprint, her small business, in a 10-by-15foot room which she renovated in Manchester. She's received help from her mother, Rosanna Holt, and also has been working with the local SCORE chapter.
"I am the designer and the printer, I am the business person who has to make sure that all my supplies are what they should be, that things I am paying for aren't more than I am making — which it is — then you take photos, you stylize, you blog about it, you post it online, you do marketing and all that stuff.
"It doesn't feel like I'm working 24-7, but I am working 24-7 for very little pay" [I would like to say this is in comparison to only working an 8-5 job] she said.
"I don't have kids, so this is the time, I have nothing to lose and life has definitely dropped things on my lap" she said.
"I found [this] letterpress. I met the guy that owned this press at the New Hampshire Creative Club. They had a portfolio review and I met him there," she said. "When the conversation turned to the press, he said, 'I have a bigger one there, one I'll give out for scrap.' I was like, 'I'll take it," Tejada said.
"Everything has come at its right time, and I asked myself, how can I turn it away? I have to do this" She said.
Demonstrating the traditional printing process, she spreads Van Son brand "Rhodamine Red," a Dutch printing ink, with a spatula, softening it before applying it to the disk on the letterpress. She spreads a minimal amount of ink onto the disk.
The press clinks and clanks as the rollers pass back and forth over the disk. "Every time it goes up, it turns the disk and goes up again. It's going to have an even coat eventually."
"I love the sound... it's so comforting when you're here by yourself and you're just going at it, and you can tell when it needs oiling," she said.
"I call it Bertha and she's got her own style and her own personality, and she'll yell at me if something is not right," Tejada said.
Although it can be operated by turning a large flywheel by hand, it's easier using the machine with a treadle. She says boyfriend Adam Lucas made the treadle (Lucas was one of two men who won hero awards in 2008 for rescuing Lisa Ladd of Epsom from her burning car after she crashed on Interstate 93 in Sugar Hill. Lucas and Scott Clarke were honored by the town of Sugar Hill and the New Hampshire Union Leader and received Carnegie Medals.) <--- [heck yeah! I'm dating a hero!]
Tejada's 1922 Chandler and Price 8-by-12 new style letterpress was built in Cleveland, Ohio.
Using thick, 100 percent cotton paper, Tejada creates cards, invitations or business cards that are deeply impressed by the press — a process called debossing — creating spaces that fill with a light coating of ink.
The textured paper and impressed text and images create a tangible feel no home inkjet printer can match.
Tejada has a line of holiday and general cards, and recently won her first placement at Pistachio Letterpress and Local store in Rochester, NY.
"I do custom work, so if people need business cards, or baby announcements, I do that" she said.
Inkprint Letterpress is online at Etsy and has its own website and blog. Cards are $3.50 - $4 or $12 - $14 for a pack of six.
She is working on a line of wedding invitations, which she hopes will be sophisticated but approacable. And she hopes to find boutiques and flower shops to carry them. "Letterpress wedding invitations are very trendy now," she said.
Woah! that was intense! (it full page and a half!). Hope you didn't fall asleep there!
Now I am working my way to print those wedding invitations and have them in national publications :-)