"When you're playing and you're just you, powerful things happen." - Joybubbles

Bremelo Press is a letterpress design and print studio based in Seattle, owned and operated by Lynda Sherman, with a lot of help from her friends.

Starting her own press in 2000 was a chance for Lynda to share stories, elevate ideas and carry the art of moveable type into the new century. Lynda is a Bremelo. A "Bremelo" is a Washington State colloquialism for a woman from Bremerton; a combination of Bremertonian and buffalo. The burning memory of "Bremelo" being hurled at her from a car window at the age of 11 inspired her to adopt Bremelo and claim its use for the press.

Bremelo Press is an archive and working museum. It contains the history and legacy of analog printing that could be easily erased in our present hyper-digital world. Bremelo is home to two antique print presses including Adele, a one-hundred-eleven-year-old Chandler & Price clamshell press and Vi, a forty-five-year-old Vandercook fllatbed newspaper proofing press. Adele was named by fellow printer Kevin Cain after Fred Astaire’s first dance partner, his sister Adele, because he felt printing was a dance. Vi was named by 10 year-old returning student printer Maggie because she heard it whispered as she pulled the drum down the press bed. The feel of ink and the kiss of type on paper keeps this art breathing, but it’s the folks who dance with the presses that keep it moving forward. 

As a map to living a full life, Lynda likes to read and revel in obituaries. She once wallpapered an entire bathroom with obituaries clipped from the New York Times. One of her favorite quotes comes from the obit of phone phreak Joybubbles. Phreaks were the precursors of today’s computer hackers. Joybubbles was a blind genius with perfect pitch who chose to remain age five forever. Asked why Mr Rogers mattered, Joybubbles said, 

“When you’re playing and you’re just you, powerful things happen.”

Read more about Lynda's inspiration from this interview with Prairie Underground

photo by Rafael Soldi

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