Thyrsus Press is a fine art print shop and publishing house in Berkeley, California. We make artifacts of all sorts - books, broadsides, mail art, buttons, curious ephemera, and more. We use a combination of traditional print media: engraving, etching and relief, alongside texts usually hand set in lead type with a deep respect for, if spottily grasped knowledge of, typographical history. We print what we like and we like liking, so send us something good at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We work in handset letterpress, with a large and growing collection of vintage metal typefaces. Imagery is created by engraving, etching, linocut, collagraphs, and solar plate (photo etching). Our shop is currently equipped with a 1914 Chandler & Price 12x18 platen press, a whomping Conrad Etching Press, and a cute little Vandercook 01 Proof Press.
We see printing as a medium of creative expression, not simply reproduction. It is our chosen language and we are continually exploring the possibilities of its various dialects. We strive to create work that happily marries text and image. We tell stories. We make art. We experiment. Me make a mess.
We publish what we like and are always seeking people/work to like from emerging or established writers, but we have an equally strong desire to republish neglected historic work that deserves to be read by new readers. We are particularly interested in unearthing the work of California's lost Bohemians.
"While all melts under our feet, we may well grasp at any exquisite passion, or any contribution to knowledge that seems by a lifted horizon to set the spirit free for a moment, or any stirring of the senses, strange dyes, strange colours, and curious odours, or work of the artist's hands, or the face of one's friend."
- Walter Pater, The Renaissance: Studies in Art and Literature, 1873