After creating all of the paper goods for our wedding, we were resolved to make more time for creative work. Bringing together Chris' eye for design and Regina's love for handmade cards, Peas + Cheese was born.
Our designs are hand sketched and each piece is letterpressed or screenprinted by hand, with great love and care. Stationery is printed on 100% cotton paper, at a public access studio in Baltimore, Maryland.
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How we make our Paper goods
Nearly all of our designs start on paper before they make it to the printing press. Here Regina sketched what would become our Mistle Toe card. Our sketches are scanned into the digital space, where elements of digital origin may be added, or sketches are tweaked. Finally, we get the layout of the design just right, then, off to the plate maker!
Once we receive our plates, we head to the print studio! We work out of a public access studio in Baltimore. We really like printing, because we finally get to see our designs on that beautiful cotton paper!
We start the printing process with mixing ink to just the color we want. We then align our plates on the press and make a few more adjustments to get just the right amount of impression in the paper. Our printing is done on Vandercook printing presses that were made in the middle of last century. They are called "proof presses" because they were used in high volume print shops or newspaper printing facilities to create quick proofs before the final layout was sent to print the full job on the real serious machines. High volume, large scale printing is done differently now, so Vandercooks are now being used by folks like us to create beautiful letterpress paper goods.
Each color on a card requires its own plate. Our two color cards have been cranked through the press by Regina or Chris, at least twice. And, we print our cards on letter size paper, so the final step before we head out the door with freshly printed cards is to cut the paper with a big guillotine cutter. Regina has to get her jump on to get the cut!
To prepare for market we first have to do quality control and packaging. We've created a bit of a ritual for this. We spread our cards and packaging materials across the dining room table, pop a bottle of sparkling wine, turn on The Great British Baking Show, and get to work!
We really love the maker community that has welcomed us here in Baltimore. We started going to markets in December 2016, and since we've done a handful of markets and pop ups. It has been a blast. We love to meet people and are so grateful to those folks who drop by and tell us that they enjoy our designs.