Inspiring interlude with the Ottawa Press Gang

Today we had the opportunity to visit with several printers in the Eastern Ontario area. The Ottawa Press Gang gathered this morning at Gaia Java Coffee Company in Stittsville to share stories and laughter, good conversation and excellent coffee.

Photo of Ottawa Press Gang

Having been out of the loop for so long, it was wonderful to see so many of the Gangsters again — many of whom have become very proficient (and prolific!) in a few short years. Grant Wilkins was there with a sampling of Christmas tags, letterpresssed on his gorgeous handmade papers.

Christmas tags by Grant Wilkins
Christmas tags by Grant Wilkins

Larry Thompson (Greyweathers Press) and Holly Dean (multimedia artist) made time in their hectic schedule to stop in. Hugh Barclay (Thee Hell Box Press) brought a copy of his most recent book of poems, limited to an edition of twelve copies. Steve and Gayle Quick (Weathervane Press) were on hand with copies of their lovely 2011 Christmas Keepsake, and Jason Byers shared some of his letterpressed keepsakes as well.

It was a pleasure to meet some of the newest Gangsters as well, including Ian Bristow and Jennifer Kibbee, owners of We Do Printing, Nancy Trottier, (Trottier Calligraphy Studio and Ducks in a Row Press, Deep River) as well as a few other newbies.

Paul Jay, owner of the café, graciously provided a space for Gangsters to promote and sell their work, and an impressive assortment was on hand. Gina Marin (Marin Press) printed a wonderful assortment of greeting cards; Grant Wilkins (The Grunge Papers) had a stock of Christmas tags letterpressed onto his gorgeous, handmade cotton papers. Larry brought a selection of his beautiful lino- and woodcut prints as well.

Photo of greeting cards
Greeting Cards by Marin Press

With the demands of life filling my days, it’s been a long time since I’ve had an opportunity to meet up with the Gangsters — and I’m glad I managed it this weekend. I had almost forgotten what a talented and innovative group of people make up the Ottawa Press Gang. Each time I see them, I am struck by their various talents and unique styles… and when we gather, I’m always inspired by the originality of their work, the breadth of their skills, and their generosity of spirit.  Truly, their enthusiasm is contagious. And for all this, I’m very grateful to be part of this Gang.

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