- 7 years ago
I’ve posted a couple of recommendations this afternoon for vendors I used for my wedding a couple weeks ago that were particularly amazing, and this is the last of the bunch. This is an idea for any Philly area people who might either want a less expensive alternative to traditional invites (that are just as beautiful, if not more so), or for people who are interested in learning how to use a letterpress and want to be part of the process of making their own. We met a local Philly artist, Elizabeth Gross, through the recommendation from a teacher of a class my fiance was taking at Fleisher (community art center in Queen Village). Liz owns a printing studio and, among other things, makes invitations (or really anything you may want or need). We were interested in learning how to use a letterpress, so Liz walked us through the steps – intially we met to talk about what kind of invitations we were thinking about, what kind of paper, and what size etc. She would have designed an image for us, but I decided I wanted to make woodcuts to use as the image, so I did and brought them to her studio. She took us through the process of printing – how to mix ink to get any color imaginable (it was really hard to decide), how to pick the type, how to use the press, how to print, everything. I knew nothing about this whatsoever ahead of time and she was an INCREDIBLE teacher – very, very patient and clear and so much fun to work with. We really had a great, great time, and although we ended up putting a lot of hours into the studio because we wanted to do every step (you wouldn’t have to do this – Liz is willing to do all the work or some, depending on how involved you’re interested in being), it wasn’t nearly as expensive as having them made elsewhere would have been (especially if you’re looking at letterpress printers).
The other thing is that our invitations ended up looking and feeling like art. This was partly because we felt really excited to have made them ourselves, but I also heard this over and over from our family and friends, who really loved them. The reason they turned out the way they did is because Liz is an artist first and foremost, and scrutinizes every step of the process as if she were producing her own work, or something to be sent sraight to a museum – she puts that much attention and care into each and every invitation and response card! It got to the point where I told her she really should charge three times what she charges – she really approaches it like a labor of love, and it’s crazy to me that she charges what she does.
I should also add that we were so excited about all of this that we ended up making our marriage contract with Liz (we were running out of time so I helped Liz design it and then she printed it on her own), and when our printer broke and we couldn’t print out our ceremony programs, Liz printed them for us on her laser printer at home. We also ended up asking her friend Sharon, a book art artist, to make a handmade guestbook for us, which turned out to be GORGEOUS. Again, the price Sharon charged was ridiculously low for the amount of work and skill she put into it. But Sharon, too, does it for the love of it. They are seriously talented people who are incredibly generous with sharing their gifts.
Here are the links to their websites:
Elizabeth Gross of Elizabeth Gross Studios: http://www.eagross.com
Sharon Hildebrand of Hildebrand Book Arts: http://web.mac.com/shildebrand/HBAStudios/Welcome.html
If you’re interested, I’d give Liz a call as soon as possible to make sure she has time and space for your project. She’s a one-woman show, and probably can’t take on a dozen projects at a time. But good luck – she’s incredible to work with, and my fiance (now husband) and I felt like making our invitations was like the added bonus of the really cool part of the experience, which was essentially taking a private letterpress class with Liz.