The Open Press

The Open Press is a letterpress, printmaking and book arts cooperative based in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Our aim is to provide access to a unique and under-utilized artistic resource in Chattanooga, and to build a community of fine artists and craftspeople around this equipment and knowledge.

The Open Press is primarily funded by membership dues, offering workspace and workshops.

Book Arts @ The Open Press

Book Arts @ The Open Press, an independent affiliate of The Open Press, began as the Chattanooga Book Arts Collaborative in 2011. The organization allied itself to TOP in January 2014.

Book Arts @ TOP seeks to build a community of book artists by cultivating a passion for the art of the book for beginners and experienced artists alike. Book Arts @ TOP provides a unique opportunity for members to interact with artists who work in printmaking and letterpress, and to create collaborative projects in a supportive environment through a range of processes and techniques.


TOP Co-Founders
Matt Greenwell & Paul Rustand
TOP Executive Director
Wendy Halvorson
TOP Printmaking Director
Juanita Tumelaire
Book Arts Co-Directors
Hollie Berry & Ellen Simak

Open Hours

The Open Press relies exclusively on volunteers for operation and so catching us in the shop can feel like a challenge. Please contact any of our directors and we’ll be happy to arrange an appointment with you.

We do have “drop in days” each month when staff members are at The Open Press, and visitors are always welcome:

  • First Monday of the month 11-4
  • Second Tuesday of the month 3-7

Signup for Updates

Membership & Benefits

Membership is available to practicing artists and individuals interested in learning more about letterpress, printmaking and book arts.

Membership for The Open Press is $150 a year (includes membership to Book Arts @ The Open Press)

Membership to Book Arts @ The Open Press is $45 a year

The Open Press & Book Arts @ The Open Press

  • Access to equipment, tools and materials
  • 10% discount on all classes and workshops
  • 10% discount at Art Creations
  • First two hours of press rental free
  • Participate in no fee/reduced charge for regional trips to see letterpress, printmaking and arts related events/organizations.

Additionally for Book Arts @ The Open Press

  • Monthly book arts work days where you can work with like-minded people on your own project using our book making equipment.


Equipment Rental

The Open Press houses equipment for letterpress, printmaking and book arts. Letterpress equipment rental is open only to members of TOP. Anyone using the equipment must have a working knowledge of studio equipment and letterpress.

Members’ rental fee for letterpress equipment is $25 per hour (first 4 hours are free). Non-members’ rental fee for printmaking equipment is $30 per hour.

Members’ rental fee for printmaking equipment is $35 per day (first day is free). Non-members’ rental fee for printmaking equipment is $50 per day.


The Open Press studio provides capabilities for letterpress printing, monotype, intaglio techniques, non-toxic lithography, collagraph and book arts with access to the following equipment:

  • Two etching/relief presses
  • Rochat etching press
  • Griffin Lithography Press
  • Vandercook SP15 press
  • Vandercook 325G proof press
  • Vandercook 4 press
  • Vandercook Universal III press
  • Wood and metal letterpress type
  • Pexto shear for metal and davey board
  • Guillotine paper cutter
  • Drying rack
  • Two large inking tables
  • Paper room with full sheet-sized sink for soaking paper
  • Exposure unit for photosensitive etching/relief/litho
  • Polymer platemaker
  • Small book press
  • Signature hole punch


Classes and workshops: The Open Press and Book Arts @ The Open Press offer monthly classes and workshops for members and non-members. Check the website for class/workshop descriptions and fees and a calendar for all our events.

Collaborative Projects

The Open Press is dedicated to promoting collaborations combining letterpress, printmaking and book arts. If you have a project to propose or explore, please contact any us.

Private Tutoring

One on one instruction is available for all skill levels. Great for the beginner or those with experienced wanting to learn new techniques. Private lessons are priced upon request.


The Open Press is available for social events which can be tailored for groups. Supervised access is available for a fee. Includes use of equipment and some materials.

The Open Press is available for corporate team building events which are designed to foster a sense of camaraderie and esprit de corps. Participants will emerge with a new sense of their creative abilities as well as the experience of engaging creatively with coworkers.

Rates for these events are available upon request from director@theopenpress.org