Cotton Blossom Press

Our Studio

Located on the west side of Asheville, our home studio makes up the entire first floor of our converted carriage house home. With concrete flooring, big French doors, and plenty of space the space is perfect for us. Our big pieces of equipment includes: a table-top Chandler & Price Pilot Press, a huge paper-cutting machine, and our crown jewels: two Vandercook #4 Printing Presses.


Our Equipment

Vandercook #4
This press was purchased from Dan Morris at The Arm in Brooklyn (where Macon learned to print). Moving it from Brooklyn was quite the adventure, but it made it to the studio safe & sound in October of 2015. This model was made by Vandercook sometime in the rage of 1935-1960 and weighs 1100 pounds!

Vandercook #4T
Very similar to the #4, the #4T was introduced in 1948. The difference is that this press can print on transparent acetate or glassine, which would then be used create offset negatives. We mostly use it for printing on paper. Laurie Corral of Asheville BookWorks sold us this press in June of 2015.

Chandler & Price Table Top Platen Press
C&P produced presses in Cleveland, Ohio from 1881-1964. Our press is a C&P Pilot Press that was designed to be used for small runs in commercial print shops and also for teaching typesetting and printing in high schools and vocational training programs. Serial Number: P 3759 We bought this press from a dealer in Louisiana in 2011 and use this press for smaller orders such as business cards, stationery, and coasters

Challenge Machinery Co. Diamond Paper Cutter
This is an enormous solid cast iron paper cutter that weights ¾ ton! It feathers a a three foot cutting blade and an adjustable back. We use this machine to cut down large stacks of paper or to trim off the edges of paper if we printed using crop marks. The date on the machine says 1898. We bought it from the wonderful ladies at 7 Ton Print Co.

More about Vandercooks
Vandercooks are especially special because they are amazing precision machines that aren't made anymore. Between 1909 and 1976, over 30,000 Vandercooks were produced. With the rise of offset and digital printing, letterpress printing was abandoned and many of the machines were sold for scrap metal or left to rust in warehouses and basements. Letterpress Printing has had a small renaissance and the craft is slowly coming back. Less than 2,000 machines are listed in a world-wide census, assembled and maintained by Paul Moxon.

Our Environmental Efforts

With a deep love and connection to the natural world, we are passionate about being mindful of our environmental impact. We strongly believe in Reduce, Reuse, Repair, and Recycle. Whenever possible, we reuse paper when setting up a new job. Each new project requires several test runs to be sure the design will print perfectly. We keep all old paper to reprint and reuse, often getting 4-10 more runs out of one card. We are researching more eco-friendly press cleaners, but we do wash and reuse all our rags. We take care of our machines, oiling and cleaning often, to prevent costly new parts.

We proudly offer Crane Lettra paper which is 100% cotton, made from by-products of the cotton industry. From Crane's website: Crane's papers are made from 100% recovered cotton fibers. These fibers are almost pure cellulose, as compared to those from trees, which are less than half. This means that cotton fibers require fewer chemicals and produce far less waste than papers made from trees. And, cotton fibers make the finest paper in the world. Learn more about Crane paper and their environmental efforts here.