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Pickypockets Press offers you a modern twist using old school processes. I provide custom printing and design, sturdy and beautiful hand bound books, and great stationery to get you writing! 


I formally learned letterpress printing and book binding at San Francisco State University. Our teaching presses were Vandercooks. presses the size of hospital gurneys,  known for their heft, ease of use, and versatility. My instructor, Mary Laird, taught me that no individual steps in the process were more important than the other. So, typesetting and composing, set up, adjustments, cleaning the press, and finally putting away all those individual pieces of lead were taught to us as equally necessary steps in a single task. You cannot remove the process from the product. I personally dislike setting type. (shhh!) Probably because I have never owned my own drawers. Using classroom or community type is an adventure in patience, sorting, shimming, and swearing. 

Today my own press is an equally heavy and versatile machine. It is called a 'platen' or 'clamshell' press because the bed and the typmyn press together to make an impression. I prefer this type of machine even though they can be a bit finicky. 

Even before that I cannot remember a time where I was not making something with paper, paints, or fabric. Studying the process in-depth gave me the foundation skills I needed to continue on my journey. I have had other training as well. For five years I taught students with moderate to severe developmental challenges academic and life skills. Teaching a population of amazing kids who had trouble picking up skills most people never even give a second thought to, has helped me never take things for granted. It also reinforced my belief that all people are capable of learning new skills and taking those skills to the next level.

I began the business after realizing that my love of design, building, and repetition outweighed my love of teaching in my local school district. Thankfully, I still get my teaching 'fix' several times a week as co-teacher with the amazing Origami Mami (a.k.a. Jennifer Linderman) who teaches the art of origami to children in after school classes. I also work with Chapter 510, a local literacy and writing program in Oakland schools . My relationships with both groups have introduced me to wonderful people and, most importantly, allows me to utilize both my teaching plus my technical art skills.  What could be better?