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Interview with Lettre Sauvge

Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your business.

We are a letterpress printing and design studio– fine press publishers and stationers. Lettre Sauvage consists of 3 conspirators out to undermine the texturally flattening influences of the digital age. We like to print real, print loud, and print hard.

What are your favorite crafts and how did you first get involved with crafting?

Lucky for us the craft of letterpress is introduced at Scripps College! We took our formal training and ran with it, breaking all the rules and establishing our own studio ethic of collaboration that’s almost like psychotherapy.

What do you like best, coming up with ideas or executing them?

When you’re a tiny press like we are you have to get a lot of satisfaction out of finishing a task because there’s not much financial motivation or outside approval. We have a small community of others who value the entire creative process. Sometimes we work hard on developing new concepts and sometimes we find them smiling up from the stacks of out-takes, emanating opportunity from limitation, straining out swan like from a rat’s nest. Accidents happen, and then you try to make the more pleasant ones repeat. That is the beauty of all real craft.

Are you super organized or messy? What does your workspace look like?

If someone’s coming over for a workshop, we’re immaculate! What day is it? We clean up after every job. We use two garages, Model A and modern 2-car, for our studio. So, the weed-wacker, extra house paint and crates of records create a nice border of reality around the mystic machines. The environment is a product of the work at hand. We tend to need a lot of paper, tape, and rulers so we try to make sure they’re nearby.

Any exciting future plans or developments in the works for your business?

Submissions to our first poetry contest are being prepared to be judged by poet, Mark Irwin. The winners will have a chapbook and broadside published next year. We’ll be printing two limited edition journals, the Forest Drive, a review of image and word, and Apis an “erotic annual.” We’re accepting submissions to Apis of erotic art and literature. We’ve been very excited about working on custom printing projects lately and are hoping to attract more designers and artists to fine edition printing.

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