Bursting at the seams with intricate old printing presses, at first glance our studio might look more like a museum than a working studio. But it doesn’t feel like a museum – it’s a get-your-hands dirty, have-a-good-laugh kind of place, thanks to our passionate team of makers and a very charming toddler (the real boss around here). Meet them all below.
Heather Braun - Founder and Creative Director
As a kid, Heather loved to wrap gifts. Not content to just wrap the gifts she was giving, she would beg everyone in her family to let her wrap their gifts too. For her it was about playing with paper and ribbons – layering, combining, folding. Unfortunately, gift-wrapping is neither a major nor a profession, so she was forced to pursue other fields of study – First a degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Guelph, then Communication Design from Emily Carr University of Art + Design. After being given a small letterpress machine by a friend, Heather realized that many of her obsessions (textures of the natural world like chestnuts, tide pools, and the intricate details of flowers and vegetation...) suggested that letterpress might just be her calling. And so Porchlight Press was born.
What else can we tell you about Heather? She’s an avid kayaker and dabbles in playing the banjo. She’s a Star Wars nerd. She was born and raised in Vancouver, but lived in Paris for a spell. She’s a prankster. Nicknamed Chesh for her wide, mischievous Cheshire Cat grin, Heather is responsible for some of Porchlight’s more offbeat greeting card ideas (many of which never make it past our vetting process).
Michael Nunweiler - Estimates and Design
Jacob Dundee Appleby Maddison - Printer & Tinkerer
Jacob is an artist working with printmaking, new media, photography, illustration, bookmaking and design. Jacob has studied and worked in fields ranging from music teacher to metal fabricator, bicycle mechanic to printmaker, cultural theorist to classic car collector. Jacob is Porchlight Press' resident handy-person: building fixing and tinkering, along with printing and illustrating. Jacob is a storyteller, always tracing the knotted intersection of truth and fiction. Jake holds a Masters of Fine Arts from NSCADu, and holds a BFA from Emily Carr University of Art + Design.
Lea Sanchez Milde - Printer
Our “printer’s devil” Lea hails all the way from Spain and comes from a background in Molecular Biology. One might think that lab research and letterpress printing don’t have much in common, but she has found that her attention to detail and experience handling imposing equipment has come in handy. Lea is happiest mixing custom inks and learning the ins and outs of our Heidelberg presses. Otherwise, she enjoys bike rides to the beach, life at her collective house, losing horribly at cribbage, and watching movies at the Rio.
Dave Dawson - Printer
Dave started printing in the UK when he was 16, for no better reason than there were jobs available for him and two of his friends. Since then, he’s witnessed the decline and near-death of letterpress, and was happy to see its resurrection. Although he became a letterpress printer by what he calls fluke, he’s come to appreciate it as a craft – and no one’s a better craftsman than he is. Dave is an avid windsurfer and a semi-retired squash player.
Felicity Elsted - Printing Supervisor / Printer
Felicity gained a love and respect for printing through her parents, who have run a private press in the country for 40 years. She started printing at the age of 14, and has published three letterpress limited edition books of poetry. Felicity started at Porchlight in 2016, and quickly fell in love with operating Heidelberg windmills. She is now a full time printer and production supervisor. Felicity has a Masters degree in English Literature, and when she is not at Porchlight, she can be found spending time with her partner and their two cats, or working on a memoir about her experience living as an adoptee in Canada.
Lauren Braun - Studio Supervisor
Lauren isn’t in the studio all that often, but when she is, everyone falls in line. Like a drill sergeant, she makes her rounds, ensuring everything is in order. She rolls around on a dolly, indicating approval of what she sees with a once-over tap (assuming she can reach). In her almost 4 years of experience as a human, she’s learned a thing or two about our machines; she’s been hearing their unmistakable rhythms since she was in utero. Which explains why she seems to feel right at home in our studio.