Photographs of Laughing Owl Press creating in their studio, which can be found in Kane, PA.
Andrea and Joe Lanich started Laughing Owl Press in a two-car garage in New Jersey, selling on Etsy.
They have since traded in their jobs as an architect and engineer to move home and open a Main Street storefront in the Wilds, counting themselves among the approximately 200 larger letterpress printers in the United States.
“We moved back to raise a family, and we really enjoy it here. We’re always trying to push that with younger people. If you’re an internet-based business, this is a really great place to be,” Joe said.
Their main focus is custom printing for weddings, as well as corporate marketing pieces. They ship internationally — China, Singapore, France, Australia — as well as all over the United States.
“Letterpress used to be a trade, but as with so many trades that become obsolete, it’s become an art form. We see it as both,” Joe added.
With the majority of their equipment coming from the 1900s, the studio is a melding of modern design with old world application.
Aside from being a burgeoning business, it has also become a community meeting place. People stop to talk, watch, and gather. They’re greeted by Burger, the family's dog, who is part welcoming committee and part security detail.
Andrea is the creative force, while Joe is the sales and public relations guru.
“We approach everything with a level of precision and care. For us it isn’t just — look at the impression we made on the front of a paper — we try to take it to the next level because the customers we work with expect the best," Andrea said.
These images were captured by Katie Weidenboerner Deppen as part of the 2017 Creative Makers Exhibit, a traveling showcase of creative makers working in the PA Wilds.
More about the show here. Proceeds from the sales of the Creative Makers Exhibit photographic tiles & posters will go back into the work of the Wilds Cooperative and the extension of this project.
Each tile measures 8 in x 8 in and is mounted on foam core that is approximately 3/4 in thick and comes with adhesive attached for wall mounting.
Please note: Orders for photographic tiles are placed in a batch at the end of each month with the vendor, and then take an additional 2 weeks for delivery. Please be prepared that your order could take 4-6 weeks for delivery.
Over 10 years ago, a groundbreaking effort began to brand a quarter of the Commonwealth as the "Pennsylvania Wilds" and invest in it to create a premier nature, heritage and cultural destination that would fuel local economies and inspire stewardship among the people who live, work, play and visit the region. Engaging the region's artists and craftspeople in the work is key to building a meaningful regional brand and infusing pride into economically-distressed communities. The Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania, our membership program that supports artisans and entrepreneurs through such regional branding, was born out of this belief. Today, nearly 200 local artists and craftspeople participate in this juried arts and business development program. "Creative Makers" reflects the splendor and uniqueness of the Pennsylvania Wilds landscape and rural lifestyle, and the resourcefulness and talent of the artists who live and work here. PA Wilds Juried photographers captured the images, and our goal with the exhibit is to help tell the story of the creative individuals living and working in the PA Wilds.
This project is made possible through grants from the Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts.
The PA Wilds is home to an impressive and diverse community of skilled artisans, craftspeople, and producers working across a variety of media. The PA Wilds Conservation Shop is proud to source and curate our shop using products made the many talented makers of The Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania.
Learn more about our sourcing now.
PA Wilds Conservation Shops are owned and operated by the Pennsylvania Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship, Inc. a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit. To learn more about our nonprofit mission please visit pawildscenter.org.