Boxcar Base and polymer plates in action: Fitzgerald Letterpress, New Orleans

It just makes our week when we receive beautiful letterpress things from our platemaking customers, so we were thrilled to open our mail a little while ago and find some great letterpress pieces from Fitzgerald Letterpress in New Orleans, printed on a Heidelberg 10 x 15 windmill with a Boxcar Base and 94FL photopolymer plates.


Owner John Fitzgerald was kind enough to send us some thoughts on letterpress and printing in New Orleans. John writes, “I’m running a mostly one-person operation in the Bywater section of New Orleans. Things are still a challenge here, but they were before Katrina too. I do custom work like invitations and business cards, plus some note cards and art prints that I sell at a local art market and wherever else I can. The letterpress scene here is small. When I moved here in 2003 there was one artsy letterpress outfit (Hot Iron Press) and they have since shifted to a fine art focus and don’t take much custom work. This town is not really up to speed with the hip, new letterpress scene, which is fine with me because being hip is a lot of work. As it is, there are a few people who like the look and want letterpress. As more people see it and want it word spreads and some day New Orleans will join the scene (which by then it will no longer be hip and we can all relax.)”

“The original idea came to do a print depicting something like the “last supper” but inclusive. We call it “All Are Welcome.” Girls stand very close to girls and boys hold hands with boys, men hold babies, old fat skinny young – we are all here. My wife Katy Quigley made the drawing and I cut the block and printed on Crane Lettra 14 x 20. Then Katy hand tinted them. People like the image so I scanned a print (not tinted) and sent you a re-sized file. Then I ran about 500 of them on Cougar (Domtar) 80# cover, natural white. Then I scored and trimmed them to A-7 size and wrapped them with a matching envelope. I think I’m done running cheap paper. Next time I’ll go with something like Crane Lettra (they also have a nice matching envelope.) The run was smooth and trouble free once I got the feeder to cooperate. I did a version of Pantone 4625 with some 874 metallic gold thrown in for that extra opaque punch and subtle glow.”

Thanks so much for sharing your work with us, John!

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