Porchlight is like the SPCA for abandoned letterpress machines. Our founder Heather Braun can’t stand to see these beautiful pieces of history thrown away, so she rescues as many as she can, giving them a loving home in the Porchlight studio-museum-shop.
Some are operational, some more ornamental – like our storied Intertype, one of the great heroes of old letterpress, which you can see on display in our shop. Each one of our machines has its own personality and quirks that we've had to learn how to work with over the years – just like a human colleague.
Our Heidelberg windmill presses are our most trusted go-tos. Fast and precise, these machines have two windmill arms that swap back and forth between feeding the paper into the press and delivering the next one. Printing on our windmills requires skill and artistry.
Our KSBA Heidelbergs keep going where the windmills leave off. These cylinder presses have a larger printable area, but retain the precision of the Windmills.
We use our Vandercook proofing presses a lot during our workshops . They’re great for students who want the traditional letterpress experience, selecting and setting wood or metal type in a form to hand-press their own cards, posters, or stationery.
Perhaps the most remarkable member of our fleet is our 1907 Colt’s Armory Press, which was originally owned by acclaimed graphic and type designer and letterpress printer Jim Rimmer. It’s an honour to have this machine in our midst, and we surround it with some of our favourite Jim Rimmer pieces to inspire and remind us of the art and history of our craft.
Known as a ‘jobbing press,’ our Chandler and Price Platen Press is ideal for small intimate print jobs like wedding invitations. Each page is hand-fed, which is gently but firmly pressed into the form, like an envelope sealed with a kiss.