In Haus Press: In the kitchen with a pâtissier turned printer

[Alyson Kuhn] Treasa Ewing likes to letterpress print on birch veneer. She uses scraps from a local woodworking shop, cutting the veneer to size on her Dahle tabletop guillotine. Ewing is a former pastry chef, and when she switched her focus to letterpress, one of her first products was Kitchen Notes. Definitely not your standard recipe cards.

Ewing elaborates: “In professional kitchens, recipes are not written the way they usually appear in magazines. It’s customary to list both the ingredients and the tools needed. ‘Method’ refers to the steps to actually prepare the dish, and your notes also become part of the recipe.”

Ewing has transferred all of her own recipes onto these cards. (See “old-fashioned” apple pie below.) She adds, “I have received a lot of compliments on the cards from people who cook professionally.” I ask if the veneer is somewhat moisture or grease resistant, and she replies, “Unfortunately, no. It’s susceptible to the same stains and wear that give all well-loved recipes a sense of charm.”

Ewing’s Letterpress Gift Flags, also printed on birch veneer, are a great little touch. The tags are 5/8 in. high x 2-1/2 in. long. Ewing applies the antiqued brass eyelet by hand and chevrons the right edge using very sharp scissors. The pennant shape alone raises my spirits a notch.

Is there a more versatile, endorphin-enticing message than For You? The gently imperative Enjoy is nice, too. Ewing also prints little Cheers cards on veneer, and a set of five comes in a cotton drawstring bag.

In addition to producing her own line of paper goods, Ewing works on custom projects for small businesses and individuals. At In Haus, everything is printed on an Adana Eight-Five — with a healthy appetite for veneer. Ewing confirms, “Printing on veneer doesn’t require anything specifically tricky — thankfully! I’ve set up our press with graph paper over our tympan paper as a guide for all of our printing, and it works great for both veneer and paper.”

In Haus products are available (besides from Felt & Wire Shop) at selected retailers, including four in Australia. For now, Ewing holds dual day jobs: “In addition to designing, printing, photographing and marketing In Haus Press full time, I’m also a full time Quality Assurance manager for a social networking startup here in San Francisco.”

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Comments (1)

  1. Posted by LEE MOODY on 02.22.11 at 8:54 am

    Love these birch recipe cards – and to think I excited using Mohawk Loop , Birch shade paper !
    The photos are superb and makes me want to cook today instead of hitting the streets in the freezing weather ! cool article +++

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