Hello from Ontario, Canada

Hello Briar Press,

I’ve been a regular reader of this forum for the last two years. The collected knowledge and experience – especially of you old-timers – is amazing and has been so helpful.

I figure it’s time to introduce myself.

I’m 33 years old and I live in Ontario, Canada. Last winter (2020-21) I renovated a small cabin and turned it into a letterpress studio. My press is an Old Style C&P 8x12 – purchased from Al at Don Black’s in the months before they closed. Over the winter, with the help of Briar Press and a few books, I slowly learned the very basics of setting type and did a few short runs of handset poems. I really loved it.

I ended up moving, so all that is in storage right now until I find a place to which I can justify moving the C&P – again!

But, yesterday, I bought three smaller presses – in need of some repair, but functionally portable. So it looks like I’ll be up and running before I find another studio.

I have a few questions about those presses, which I’ll post on another thread soon enough.

Wanted to introduce myself first and say how helpful Briar Press has been.

-James Nowak
Ontario, Canada

(attached is a photo of my old studio)

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Here’s the photo.

image: BP1 (2).png

BP1 (2).png

Hello James!

That was a great looking studio. Looks like you had everything you needed and not a bunch of unnecessary extras. Great way to allow yourself to focus on really learning the trade of letterpress printing.

I’m looking forward to seeing what you do next.


G’day James….

Welcome! That was a very homey little printshop you had. I’m in Fredericton, New Brunswick in a ‘renovated ’ garage. I, too, like doing poetry. I find it less stressful.

It’s good to see another Canadian on Briar Press and I wish you well in getting back up and running….cheers….


Thanks David and Bradley.

I’m moving on April 1 to a place with a similar cabin (no woodstove though). The guy before me used it as a little woodworking shop. It’ll be a printshop/studio soon…



Nice studio, hope you find some space to re-build it.

Pygment Press
Newmarket, Ontario

I like your studio. Neater than my messy old shop. As for the “unnecessary” extras mentioned, you will eventually find that there are no such things.

Good luck with your new location. If you don’t own it, and the owner doesn’t want you to put in a wood stove, you could always try a couple of electric heaters for all but the coldest weather.

Geoff Quadland
Scotland, Ontario