Smock is based in Syracuse, New York, a post-industrial town whose sprawling warehouses and pretty grit have charmed us silly. Our print shop — its 20 antique presses, 50 tons of equipment, and 17 employees — resides west of downtown in the Delavan Center, a rambling building with labyrinth hallways and wildly crooked floors. This place used to be a factory for John Deere, and before that for the Syracuse Chilled Plow Company, if you look far enough backwards. Nowadays, the Delavan houses many of the city�s painters, photographers, sculptors, and ceramists, as well as Syracuse's largest art gallery. This is our home.
Who are we? We are faithful lovers of historic craft. We have letterpress ink in our veins. We are idealists. This means we believe in things. We are trying to make the world better right now. This affects everything we do. We read Walt Whitman (he was a letterpress printer too, by the way) (Stuff'd with the stuff that is coarse and stuff'd with the stuff that is fine). We fall head over heels for heavy cast iron presses. We believe in the creation of beautiful things. And we want, like you, to feel good about where our beautiful things come from.
One final thing of note: we're the first and only print shop in the U.S. to offer printing on a luxury bamboo paper. We developed this paper with the help of a historic European paper mill, because we wanted a truly sustainable paper that happened to be gorgeous. (learn more about our bamboo paper).
Smock's designer Amy Graham Stigler was an art historian before she was a designer, which explains why her invitations and cards convey an educated sense of history and style. She spent nearly a decade in Chicago, where she attended graduate school, worked at a handful of museums and co-founded Snow & Graham. More recently, Amy relocated to a quaint lake town in Wisconsin, where she happily resides with her husband and three children
Smock owners Debbie Urbanski and Harold Kyle have known each other for a long time. Their first collaboration involved Debbie's poetry, Harold's lead type, and an lovely old Vandercook press. They went on to found Boxcar Press (Smock's parent company), building Boxcar into one of the largest letterpress shops in the country. In need of a hobby, they recently created their son Jasper, named after a national park in the Canadian Rockies.