A display of artful letterpressed getting cards.

Willowcrest Press Cards by Emma Gaze

From playful to poignant- Willowcrest Press cards are made in a wide range of styles befitting the most casual, to the most sincere reason to drop a line. Hand-pressed in Los Angeles by artist / musician Emma Gaze, the cards reflect her love for materials and process. Made out of a home-studio in Studio City, California, the cards are patiently hand-letterpressed by a vintage press onto lettra card stock, a paper that leaves “a deep impression” for the chosen typeface.

Gaze’s designs create a full spectrum of moods and whims.Take for example, the pressed illustration of a raccoon with “hey” nonchalantly below, or a wolf, mournfully howling, with the phrase “i miss you” to the side. She also features a series of quotes on cards that impart wise words from art, literature, and philosophy, from the minds of Yoko Ono, Virginia Woolf, or Sartre, to name a few.

Each card design seems to come from a playful experimentation and a deep love for collecting various media and materials. This creative process has been influenced by Gaze’s time spent as the drummer for English band, Electrelane. Formally started in 1988, with the multi-talented singer/keyboardist/guitarist Verity Susman, Electrelane remains the only band Gaze ever played in. Gaze describes the band’s dynamic as
“a family- but closer…we grew up together and have a very specific shorthand with each other, and also, we’re quite telepathic with one another…which is very, very useful on stage.”

Electrelane took off at a time that Gaze was still in her early twenties. When the band received a record deal, it meant that she did not have the opportunity to finish her degree at art college, where she was studying photography and design. The pressure to promote and perform with a record label meant that Gaze put other areas of interest on hold in order to focus on music. Gaze refound the space to begin creating letterpress cards during an extended hiatus that Electrelane took, beginning in 2007.

While Electrelane has performed several shows since their unofficial hiatus, the relaxation that comes with not having so much pressure coming with a record deal has meant that playing together has been more joyful and relaxed. “It was just pure fun and love,” Gaze remarks about Electrelane’s recent performances.

Willowcrest Press began during a time that Gaze found herself between her hometown in England, and her wife’s home in Los Angeles. It was in Los Angeles that Gaze found herself spending too much money on cards because of her love of letterpress. “I hadn’t ever seen letterpress cards in England. When I got home I looked for a class, and found an amazing teacher – I learned the basics. After I moved to America I bought a press and just started exploring and testing and making loads of errors, (..) part of what I love about letterpress is that one can always improve.”

A surprise to Gaze, and Willowcrest Press, is how popular her cards featuring quotes have become. “Lately, I’ve been really enjoying pressing the quote cards, and seeing people’s reaction to them. I had initially just done the odd [quote] that I liked, just for myself, not thinking people would actually want to buy them, but I got so many requests, now it seems that [the quote cards] are way more popular than any of the cards with images on them. It’s always funny because my wife says “I like it….but what is it for?” and it’s generally that reaction that turns into the best seller. I just find quotes that resonate with me personally that I would like to be sent, that make me sigh or smile…well, actually, they always have to make me smile, even if they’re sad.”

Gaze currently resides with her wife in Los Angeles. Check out her website to fall in love with her hand-pressed designs at: www.willowcrestpress.com.

POSTED October 9th 2016 by admin