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Crystal Vaughan's Profile

About

I'm originally from Ottawa, Ontario, but moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia to attend school. I have both a BA and an MA in English literature.

I got into letterpress printing in early 2010 when I was introduced to the Letterpress Gang, a group of people who preserve an old print shop in the heart of Halifax by maintaining and using the equipment, and educating others on the joys of hand-setting type for print.

I found I loved letterpress so much that I wanted to start printing on my own, so I bought a tabletop Kelsey Excelsior 3x5 printing press. It's small (and therefore my prints are small), but it has been a good teaching tool for my craft. I recently acquired a larger press: an 8x12 Chandler & Price, but it needs some work in order to be operational.

I wanted to open up shop so that I could share some…

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  • Female
  • Born on June 9
  • Joined December 7, 2011

Favorite materials

cotton paper, rubber based ink, metal type, wood type, metal cuts, watercolours, acrylic paint

Shop

About

I'm originally from Ottawa, Ontario, but moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia to attend school. I have both a BA and an MA in English literature.

I got into letterpress printing in early 2010 when I was introduced to the Letterpress Gang, a group of people who preserve an old print shop in the heart of Halifax by maintaining and using the equipment, and educating others on the joys of hand-setting type for print.

I found I loved letterpress so much that I wanted to start printing on my own, so I bought a tabletop Kelsey Excelsior 3x5 printing press. It's small (and therefore my prints are small), but it has been a good teaching tool for my craft. I recently acquired a larger press: an 8x12 Chandler & Price, but it needs some work in order to be operational.

I wanted to open up shop so that I could share some of my work with others in the hopes that someone, somewhere, finds some joy in giving or receiving (or even just looking at) something I made from my heart.

I decided to call my shop Pebbles & Buttons in honour of my favourite Canadian poet, Jan Zwicky. In the spring of 2010, Jan held a poetry reading in Halifax. She ended her reading by giving us some poems from her collection titled /Thirty-seven Small Songs & Thirteen Silences/. She explained, smiling, with a look of remembering on her face, that these small songs and silences were, for her, like pebbles and buttons in a jar. When she was finished, someone in the audience asked her why: Why would you compare such beautiful pieces of poetry to pebbles and buttons when they are such mundane, everyday items? Jan answered without so much as a pause: Poetry is about finding beauty in the mundane. She explained that it’s about seeing that pebble, that button, as something new and wonderful. It was the most perfect and enlightening answer for me; her explanation was the pebble I wasn’t paying attention to. Jan was talking about writing, but her philosophy is so much broader. For me, letterpress is one of the many ways I continue to find beauty in the mundane. I hope you enjoy!

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