The Fitzgerald Letterpress web page is a marriage of the newest and oldest mass media. There is no way to convey the full experience of fine letterpress printing on a computer screen, so consider this an invitation to explore the enduring and useful art we make.
Visit us at Dutch Alley Artists Co-op, at the foot of Dumaine Street, a block from Café Du Monde in the French Quarter. I also have some work at Cake Café, I. J. Reilly, Maple Street Books and Blue Cypress Books.
Write us at 1243 St. Bernard Avenue, New Orleans, 70116 or send an e-mail, or call (504) 218-9747.
The first time I pulled a print I was hooked. I worked on a linoleum block for days and days, suffering nicks and cuts, thinking the whole time that I wasn’t doing very well at all. Eventually it was time to ink up and pull a print. I was thrilled. Not satisfied, just thrilled. There were a dozen details I had never intended, and the original intent was there, only enhanced and transformed. There is a certain magic in relief printing technique and I was enchanted.
When it came time to find a way to make a living I found myself a spot at the local trade school and learned commercial offset printing. For twenty years I worked in the prep department for some of the most boring and stressful print projects imaginable. Everything had to be done yesterday and by this afternoon it was headed for the dump. Who wants yesterday’s mattress ads?
Then came a blessing I didn’t recognize at the time. Digital technology wiped out almost all of the offset prep jobs like mine. I tried to stay current with the new technology, but even the best were cast aside in the digital era (and I was only very good.) Finally I realized that if I wasn’t fitting in with the latest technology, why not go back to the earliest? I had been doing relief prints in any improvised workspace I could manage all through my commercial offset career. I set about collecting cast off letterpress equipment and trying to make a living doing the kind of printing that lasts.
Now I can make a living at work I care about and I am grateful to every customer who helps make that dream a reality for me.