CraftSanity Episode 133: A conversation with Runaway Press artist, Michelle Terry

Michelle Terry prepares ink to print at Not Design Studio in Grand Rapids where she and fellow letterpress artists offer occasional workshops.

For some, the best professional move begins with a giant leap of faith. 

Messy inks and a collection of wood and lead type eventually lured Michelle Terry, 30, of Wyoming, away from spending her professional life in front of a computer screen. Michelle got her creative parachute ready in November 2013 when she decided to leave her graphic design job and give up the steady paycheck that came with it. 

“I decided I was going to take on a little adventure in letterpress,” she said.

Her design job was fun and the her coworkers were nice but something was missing.

“I wasn’t making things with my hands,” she said. “I was just working on the computer.”

Tune in to this episode of CraftSanity to find out how Michelle’s love of letterpress inspired her to make a fun and exciting career change and launch Runaway Press in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Letterpress artist, Michelle Terry, uses her Showcard Sign Press to create cards and art prints. She bought the 300-pound press from a printer in Philadelphia and made the 13-hour drive with her dad to pick it up. The press was manufactured in the 1960s and is still fully operational. On the wall is one of Terry’s signature pieces. She printed the shape of the state of Michigan using more than 250 individual blocks.

You can read the rest of the newspaper column I wrote about Michelle on MLive and shop her letterpress goods on Etsy. You can also follow her on Facebook and Instagram. And watch her make a print in the video clip below.

* I don’t know about you, but I’m currently obsessed with large fonts and plotting to carve my own to block print on paper and fabric. Get in touch if you have a story to share involving letterpress, printmaking, text or fonts. Print is not dead, so let’s keep talking about it. 

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