Pressing Matters

Pope Press Olympia

Photo of Elspeth Pope, founder of Hypatia-in-the-Woods

Elspeth Pope

Elspeth Pope’s legacy lives on in the dreams of those she has mentored. She shared her love of printing with inspired artists and now Pope Press Olympia will be opening soon in her honor.

We honor our mentors that have come before us by continuing to breath new life into the legacies that they have created.


Last winter. Jennifer Hukee began helping Elspeth with her basement printing press, organizing the studio and printing together. Elspeth shared her vision with Jennifer for using the studio to teach others letterpress and providing the space and equipment for aspiring artists. After Elspeth passed in May 2013, Jennifer approached her family about buying Elspeth’s printing equipment with the intent of opening a printing press studio in honor of Elspeth Pope.

popepressolympiaLess than a month from opening on March 15, 2014 Pope Press Olympia  is in the final stages of fundraising. Just $500 shy of their goal, Pope Press Olympia has an active fund-raising campaign on

Pope Press Olympia will house a haven of print artists. In addition to housing the Elspeth’s letterpress, the printing studio will include classroom space as well as exhibition space. It is designed for the beginner as well as the advanced printer. Jennifer has years of teaching printing classes but has lined up a very special guest instructor for the first class at Pope Press Olympia. Catherine Alice Michaelis, owner and letterpress printer of May Day Press and Elspeth’s neighbor and dear friend will teach a pressure printing class on Sunday March 16th, 2014

Pope Press Olympia – 2014 from Pope Press Olympia on Vimeo.

Jeanne Lohmann Poetry Trail finds a new home

The poetry trail adjacent to Hypatia-in-the-Woods’ Holly House residence has found a new home on the wooded grounds of Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia.
With the death of Hypatia’s founder/director, Elspeth Pope, her large property above Hammersley Inlet went on the market. The poetry trail circled an area of cedar woods on that property, and because there remained the possibility that Hypatia’s property where Holly House is located may have to be sold as well (the two properties share a water system, septic system and easement) the board determined that the poetry trail should be removed to a more public venue. The issue: where could it be enjoyed by more people, yet be secure?
Several locations were deemed possible. In mid-July, poet Jeanne, her daughter Karen Lohmann and friend Shelley Kirk-Rudeen, who was advisor to the installation, drove to Shelton to walk the path. En route home, they came up with the inspiration: St. Peter Hospital’s award-winning wooded and gardened grounds.

Jeanne's beautiful poems have new locations on St. Peter Hospital grounds

Jeanne’s beautiful poems have new locations on St. Peter Hospital grounds

Karen proposed the project to the hospital administration. Now, just over a month later, the six installations have been removed from Elspeth’s property and installed at locations on the Olympia hospital campus:
• Sunshine House interior outdoor patio
• Two on the Trillium trail – parallel to Lilly Road (trail shared by Thurston County Health Department)
• In the Cedar Circle- to the North East of the main paver walkway
• Overlooking the egg-shaped stacked-stone sculptures near the North Entrance/Surgery Critical care/ and Family Birth areas
• On the walkway between the back (west entry near the parking garage) and Emilie Gamelin Pavilion.
A huge thank you to Karen for shepherding this project. Jeanne’s wise, beautiful and calm poetry will bless staff and visitors alike, and friends of Hypatia-in-the-Woods can visit the installations any time.

Hypatia-in-the-Woods Press

First Hypatia poetry broadside takes shape!

Hypatia-in-the-Woods Press

Fine tuning the Vandercook

Pat’s post about Hypatia’s 2nd broadside reminded me that I’d written about the first back in March, back before the new web was live. This is old news by now — we’ve sent out many of the first printing as membership premiums and, as Pat wrote, are well started on the second, but the beginning, the first turn of the press, was so much fun, I just have to share this.

March 11, 2012: The press clacked and sighed as Pat turned the handle, then was quiet while I picked each newly printed broadside from the cylinder. Crisp letters on fine, muted papers. Four of us were printing broadsides, the poem “Swallowing the World” by local poet Don Freas. Probably a hundred repetitions for the seventy-four good copies printed. The others were proofs: determining placement on the page, realigning the plate after we cleaned the bed, checking the inking.

On the new website …

We are close, so close, to going live with Hypatia’s new website, and what a moment that will be! I’ve said that yes, I can write blog posts, do some editing. After all, I’ve done web pages before. Of course, my first page was direct HTML coding, quite simple in design, but oh, so satisfying.

Later I rebuilt a whole site where I worked using the Microsoft Word “publish as HTML” feature — much to the dismay of my system admin folks. Too much embedded code, too slow, too big … and so, I moved on to Dreamweaver with its ability to strip out all that excess MS code. And I could view the pages as I worked in both formatted and HTML versions, satisfying my need to actually understand what was happening. Ah … I miss that program, but no longer have access to a server as I did before I retired. (more…)

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