Our Story

W h o  W e  A r e

Quail Lane Press is a letterpress studio specializing in landscape art. We create original maps and multicolor landscape prints and cards. Behind Quail Lane is husband and wife Michelle and Chip Snyder.  

O u r  I n s p i r a t i o n

After studying the natural sciences at Columbia and then Yale University (and filling my course load with as many possible art classes as electives ) I moved to Lake Tahoe where I met Chip, an avid climber and general all around mountain man.  Together, with our passion for creating art, we formed Quail Lane Press.  It began with a little baby press in our cabin, and evolved to three vintage (and very heavy) letterpress machines.  Having a press allowed me to take my illustrations to another level through reproduction, which was so ideal for growing an art business. 

O u r  P r o d u c t s

We create and print all our our products in our studio in Milwaukie (just on the outskirts of Portland) Oregon.  We love our little spot, close to the city but in a grove of enormous fir trees.

We believe that the little things do add up to change the bigger whole so over the years we have prioritized making artwork in a sustainable fashion and getting it to the customer with the least amount of impact on the environment.  As far as production goes we use low VOC ink and eco-friendly press cleaners/solvents.  And in terms of shipping we have whittled down the amount of plastic we use and use locally sourced shipping materials.

L e t t e r p r e s s 

Our three presses- Two Vandercook proof presses (for larger format pieces), and one Gordon platen press (that we use for cards). 

I create all the QLP art first by making a drawing.  I then convert that drawing into a photopolymer plate, which is a relief plate (like a woodcut or linocut block).  These plates are metal backed and placed on a large magnet that sits on the press.   After inking up the press we are then able to run paper through the machine and over this plate.   For each print every color has to have its own plate and have a separate pass through the press.  

These machines are old and cantankerous so it takes great time and attention to detail to make sure each print retains the same impression, registration, and inking as the last.  It can be laborious (there are good print days and bad ones!)...but creating a perfect print is a wonderful feeling.  The printer's high.