Lady Pilot Letterpress | Vendor Profiles

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Lady Pilot Letterpress | Emily GreenIcons_email1GreenIcons_IGFacebookwebsite

Lady Pilot is a woman-run printshop that specializes in stylish snark printed on a beautiful old press from 1907. Market Offerings | Letterpress greeting cards and, when available, broadsides & posters. Favorite Color | Orange Loves | Hula Hoop "sometimes snarky, sometimes sweet"
Bio | As far back as anyone can remember, Emily Wismer aspired to be a teenage boy in a 1950’s industrial arts instructional film. Or maybe a grizzled yet big-hearted & civic-minded one-person newspaper in a cinematic Wild West town where she is the only voice of the downtrodden and under-represented. Or possibly a forger of currency ala the domino-masked villains the Beagle Brothers, or the bad guys in “The Goonies.” At least this is what we must assume, since she’s been an avid letterpress printer for nearly two decades, and there aren’t a lot of contemporary places someone would be exposed to the dirty and gratifying world of hand-set type, viscous inks and enormous and dangerous machines. Her love affair with greasy metal began in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with the tabletop Pilot press that contributed to her shop’s name. She collected type and studied design until she found an 8×12 C&P, which she bought and promptly destroyed (she blames force majeure, or “gravity,” but her later history of destroying presses calls this into question.) Thus began her life-long tradition of drafting well-meaning but dim-witted friends into schlepping massively heavy superannuated machines out of trucks, into elevators, or up and down stairs with nothing but naive optimism and a Johnson bar. Relocating to Chicago in 1999, and caught up in the anything-goes political zeal that defined that heady “free love” era, she enlisted in a worker-owned print collective where she produced political posters, D.I.Y. Molotov cocktail diagrams, and sleeves for 45 rpm singles by vegan hardcore anarcho-syndicalist punk bands. But she discovered a lot of these people were assholes. And since she never got paid for any of these jobs, she decided to split for the greener untroubled Avalon of teaching 3rd graders in the Chicago Public Schools. But some dreams never die. While lead poisoning, nerve damage, and losing a finger were all distinct possibilities in the CPS, the romance of printing was like a clanking monotonous Siren calling to Emily from the halcyon shores of self-employment. So, hanging up her mortarboard and Kevlar vest, she left teaching in 2008 and relocated her press, type, inks, posters, violin, and cats to her fortified compound high in the mountains of North Carolina. Taking the name of Lady Pilot Letterpress, she prints hilarious greeting cards, posters, comic books, wedding invitations and other high-quality hand-crafted goods, occasionally sledding down the slopes into Asheville late at night to steal and destroy crystals, water-pipes and dream catchers, like some kind of hot-lady version of the Grinch. This biography contributed by renowned novelist, blogger, and internationally respected Thomas Pynchon authority ‘Infant Tyrone’.” Tyrone is also Lady Pilot’s bosom buddy, co-revolutionary in the battle against apathy, and staunchest supporter. His facts may be doubted, but his heart is always in the right place. [Totally ripped this off from her website HERE so if you have a problem with it, I suggest you call Tyrone.] Did You Know? | Lady Pilot cards are also in stores around the country and even a few across the pond. Want to learn more? It best to contact Emily by smoke signal in the midnight hour.


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