Take Off and Landing

The last step in completing the pieces was to mount the airplanes onto backing paper and sign/title the work. In the end, we have two playful editions:

Take Off, a series of 30 prints, 20″h x 15″w
Landing, a series of 5 prints, 42″h x 30″w

It was a pleasure working on this project for Lambert…happy printing!

–Amanda Verbeck, Pele Prints



Fold One, Cut Two




It was time to channel our inner child and start folding these maps into paper airplanes. With five styles of airplanes picked out, we went to town cutting and folding these intricate flyers: Interceptor, Delta, Condor, Canard, and Dragonfly. Many thanks to Holly Childress, fabulous guru Pele assistant, for her attention to detail and nimble fingers.

–Amanda Verbeck, Pele Prints


A print isn’t always just a print. When I create work, I often incorporate other techniques and hand-work into the finished pieces. This project was no exception. The printed image was just the beginning. I wanted to create an abstracted map of cities, flight paths, and airport codes. Once the printing of the cities was completed, it was time to connect the dots by drawing on the pieces with colored pencil. This laid down some of the most common flight paths around the world. The final step in creating the image was to stamp various three-character airport codes near their city dots.

–Amanda Verbeck, Pele Prints




Press On

PrintingOnce the plate was drilled and ready to go, it was time for the fun part. My plan was to create an edition various, using five different colors. We tore down two sizes of thin Kozo Japanese paper for printing, and then we were ready to go.

Since the copper plate had quite a bit of texture and many dents, we rolled the plate using small brayers to get in all the nooks and crannies. Once it was all inked, we placed a single layer of paper on top and ran it through the press. The end result was a series of delicate constellation-like maps, where the printing can be seen from both sides of the thin Kozo. This was just the first step in creating the image…more to come soon!

Many thanks to Carly Kurka, Pele Prints assistant extraordinaire, who helped with the printing.

–Amanda Verbeck, Pele Prints





Embedded History

The Firecracker Press stepped outside it’s traditional boundaries of letterpress and wood carving to include impressions directly taken from the Lambert roof tiles.  We chose to cut into the tile and mount it to a wood block to print the first layer.  This layer includes stencils to block out some of the ink and execute a “pressure print”.


Our copper tile had a very beautiful patina as well as markings from wear and tear over the years.  We love that some of the patina transferred onto the prints, embedding the history of the airport right into the paper.



We continued to build upon the image, adding one of our hallmark woodcut plates.



We also cut out pieces of the copper to create a wardrobe for our traveling couple. The plaid was hand carved into the plate using a copper engraving tool.


The completed pieces evoke the excitement, mystique and glamour of flying in the 1940’s.




Cu (Copper)

When I was first contacted about the Lambert print project, I was pretty excited about the idea of working with the copper roof tiles. Copper is one of those traditional printmaking materials, usually used for intaglio plates. But since our focus at Pele Prints is on less traditional printing techniques, I decided to take a different route with the copper by drilling into the plate and rolling the ink on top.

There were definitely some challenges in using the roof tile as a plate. The biggest obstacle was simply getting the piece of copper to lay flat so it could go through the press. Thanks to Butch Verbeck (my Dad), and his knowledge of working with metal, this was a relatively easy step. From there, I knew that the patina and history of the copper would always remain and would add “character” to the printed images.

–Amanda Verbeck, Pele Prints



Introducing our three printing press partners

We are so excited to be working with three wonderful and innovative St. Louis printing presses! Each press will be transforming the copper tiles in their own unique way, and letting us in on the progress along the way. Here a little information about each artist/press:

The Firecracker Press

The Firecracker Press opened in February of 2002 as St. Louis, Missouri’s only graphic design studio and letterpress printshop. They combine antique printing technology with new thinking to design and produce objects that people enjoy seeing and feeling. They use computer design software to conceive ideas but still carve woodblocks and print by hand to produce event posters, business cards, party invitations, advertising and more. Their second location in Old North is opening this weekend, and is a really fantastic space.

Gina Alvarez, Yellow Bear

Gina Alvarez is a St. Louis artist who’s work combines printmaking, fiber, sculpture and installation. She received her MFA in Printmaking and Drawing from Washington University as well. She is the Director of VSA Missouri and co-founder of yellow bear. yellow bear is a fine art printmaking studio located in the Kingshighway Hills neighborhood of St. Louis, MO. We hold workshops, exhibitions, residencies and more. Our address is 5201 Pernod Ave St. Louis, MO 63139.

Amanda Verbeck, Pele Prints

Collaboration is at the heart of Amanda Verbeck’s work as a visual artist. Amanda opened Pele Prints, a collaborative studio in St. Louis, where fine art printmaking is the main focus. As a printer and publisher, she acts as curator, advisor, artist, financial backer, gallerist, and technician. Each year Amanda invites a small number of artists to create prints at Pele. She explore ideas with artists in the studio, using multiple print processes as a jumping-off point; and takes a non-traditional approach and encourages experimentation. While the print medium is at the core of each project, finished pieces may also include three-dimensional components, collage, and handwork. Amanda’s goal with each artist is to create a unique body of work that displays the curiosity, learning, and constant discovery exemplified in the collaborative process at its best.

Amanda is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis. After working with several presses in the St. Louis area, she started Pele Prints in 2006. Work from Pele has been exhibited widely, both nationally and internationally, and the prints can be found in numerous corporate and private collections.