CraftSanity Episode 47
Meet Book Artist Ellen Knudson of Crooked Letter Press
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Ellen Knudson appreciates the beauty of text on a page. She's a lover of letters and the words they add up to when she make her books the old fashion way with ink and type and a needle and thread. As a book artist and operator of Crooked Letter Press in Starkville, Miss., Ellen spends quality time with each beautifully constructed book she prints on her beloved letterpress.

filename ellen's press

One letter at a time Ellen, 37, assembles deliberate sentences, locking the text into place before inking and printing limited edition books that contain stories and poems from her life. Not long ago, I had the pleasure of reading several of Ellen's books and seeing the wonderful craftsmanship of their construction when she shipped them my way for a visit.

Ellen is married to a math professor and has a son, Gus. She earned an MFA in book arts from the University of Alabama. She's been a book artist for 10 years and graphic designer for 15. She has worked for The Art Institute of Chicago and The Detroit Institute of Arts and has taught graphic design at Wayne State University and Mississippi State University.

Here are the books we chatted about on this week's podcast. Visit Ellen's site to learn more.


If you'd love to own a letterpress of your own, Ellen recommends Briar Press. It's a great place to troll for equipment and soak up knowledge.

This week's project: Ellen supplied us with instructions for making Wheat Paste and Paste Paper. Download the pdf. (Thanks Ellen!)

Contest Wrap-up: The first winner of “Craftivity” by Tsia Carson is …. Donna, an Australian Air Traffic Controller who crafts because she has “an absolute need to.” Congrats Donna! Thanks to everyone who entered and left great comments on the blog. And thanks again to Harper Collins for donating the book.

I’m expecting to get my hands on a bonus copy soon, and will have Abby select a second winner from the entries to be announced when I post my next episode after the New Year! So stay tuned folks!

Happy holidays and best wishes for an especially crafty New Year!

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