Hand-carved Linocut Letterpress Cards and Prints

Corvallis, Oregon

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Julia Lont

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Julia Lont


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5 out of 5 stars

About BlueCamasPress

Sales 29
On Etsy since 2013

Vintage Printing Processes, Hand-carved Imagery, and Organic Produce

I'm not sure I can recommend impulse-buying a 1/2 ton, vintage 1896 Chandler & Price platen printing press to everyone. But, for me, it turned out to be a perfect match. Ever since that rainy March day in 2012 when we brought the press to its home in my art studio in a shop at Crooked Furrow Farm just outside Corvallis, Oregon, I have been obsessed with the processes of designing, carving blocks, and printing. The press is a marvel of a machine, and operates very smoothly with a combination of fly-wheel, crank shaft, and foot treadle--no electricity necessary!

My art work, whether drawn, painted, or in this case, printed, has always started with a close connection to the natural world. This is part of what I love about keeping my studio at a farm. Crooked Furrow Farm is a small farm in Oregon's Willamette Valley that produces fruit, vegetables, and eggs for sale at farmers' markets in Corvallis and Portland. It is nestled on a slope leading down to a natural wetland area which is often host to a number of native species of birds as well as plants such as camas, a lovely blue-violet flower that blooms all over the valley in spring.

When I come up with a new design for Blue Camas Press, I start by going out into the field or into a greenhouse to sketch or photograph fruits and vegetables in season. Sometimes I'll bring the produce right into my studio for sketching or matching colors when printing. Once I've completed my sketch, I transfer the design to linoleum blocks and carve them by hand. This is an exacting process, but I relish the hands-on aspect of carving each shape and line by hand. I carve one block for each color in a design. Then, I ink up my press with a color, lock the block into the printing press, and print a entire run of cards and prints, one color at a time.

Both in my own garden, and helping out on the farm, I love growing, harvesting, selling, processing and eating fresh garden produce. Every spring I'm busy weeding and harvesting greens and radishes, every summer I'm out there cutting zucchini and picking tomatoes, and every fall I'm busy canning, drying, freezing, and helping to bring in the last of squashes. In many ways, my designs are like a personal journal recording things in season.

Shop members

  • Julia Lont

    Owner, Maker, Designer, Printer

Production partners

  • Franklin Press

    Corvallis, OR

    Printing facility (digital print)

  • OSU Printing and Mailing

    Corvallis, OR

    Digital printing production

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Accepts Etsy Gift Cards and Etsy Credits