Essential Q&A with Carrie V., letterpress printer

Job Title: Letterpress printer

Describe what you do at Boxcar Press in 10 words: Operate wonderful, majestic, finicky, retro Heidelberg letterpress glory and other hats.

My super power is: “Gun and Python Show” (Editor’s note: operation of Heidelbergs has been known to give one a gnarly clutch arm)

Hometown: Central New York

My favorite printing equipment: Heidelberg Windmill!!

What three places in Central New York do you recommend visitors to visit? Boxcar Press, Oswego Harbor, and Letchworth Park.

Music that inspires me: Math Rock

The greenest thing I do: Work here!

Besides letterpress, I am passionate about: Bookbinding, rock shows, bringing art to communities

This makes me proud: A fine, crisp serif pillowed into the paper at just the right color.

My favorite Pantone: At this moment, 806U

Most memorable meal: After a week of recovery from food poisoning, Alto Cinco brought me back to life.

What book do you think everyone should read? A book on how to make stuff.

What’s on your nightstand right now? All kinds of manuals; bookbinding, printing, design, and some short story compilations.

Something about the Boxcar Press crew our customers don’t know: Greg is the best dessert-bringer at our monthly pot lucks.

How do we handle pressure in rush situations? Spontaneous dance parties

How did you get here? I read a book on bookbinding, went to study at Nazareth College in Rochester, learned voraciously everywhere I could, was hired for a bindery job at Boxcar Press, and later moved into printing. The learning never stops!

Carrie (aka CarrieAwesome) also handcrafts fine books and journals when she’s not working for Boxcar Press. These books are one of a kind treasures. (She makes custom books to order, too!). So here’s a little more about her press, Amaranth Press and Bindery:

What does Amaranth mean? There are two definitions, the mythical bloom that never fades or a super grain that proceeded corn in ancient Maya tradition.

Briefly describe the bookbinding process: A case-bound book, pages are sewn and glued. Then the spine is reinforced with cloth. The cover (or case) is made separately with dense binders board cut to size and sanded smooth. The pasted cloth is wrapped around the boards and turned in. Then pages are pasted into the cover and put in a press overnight.

Favorite kind of fabric for covering your books? Textures that are nice to pet! (Including letterpressed fabrics and paper pieces).

What inspires your book design? Making a truly unique book that will last for generations.

How can we buy your books? Contact me at

(interview by Carrie, Boxcar’s Office Manager)

2 thoughts on “Essential Q&A with Carrie V., letterpress printer

  1. Pingback: Boxcar Sponsors Community Supported Agriculture at Boxcar Press - Us

  2. Hi Carrie, Remember me from the Financial Aid Dept at Naz? I thought of you today when my daughter, who is an art teacher at Fairport High School, brought home a book given to her by one of the school custodions, a gentleman from Nepal. He made the book himself in Nepal and looking at its’ beauty, I thought of the beautiful paper and books you made. I decided to look you up and here you are! I’m so glad you’re still doing what you love. Take care, Vicki

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