Fifth in our series is Ted Harrington of Terrapin Stationers & Engravers. He’s a hoot and a half so hope you enjoy our rather silly Q&A below!
Q. Terrapin Stationers & Engravers is one of those rare family run businesses. What’s it like keeping work in the family?
A. It’s difficult to articulate. All I can say is I have an Old Steelcase desk in back of the shop with the bottom drawer kicked in…
Q. You’re infamous Fuck Off and Go Home and Change cards became a huge hit overnight. How did you come up with these brilliant concepts?
A.The Engraved FUCK OFF Calling Card was Michael Williams idea. I just made it happen. I have probably pushed it a bit too far but it is popular. Go Home and Change was Mister Mort’s idea. I’m not that confident nor am I that Natty. Let me repeat that, the Go Home and Change card was Mister Mort’s idea. (How is that Mordechai?) I think Puff Puff Pass could be a future collaboration…
Q. Can you elaborate on the printing process of one of your items, how about printing a business card.
A. Sure, unlike Letterpress, our plates our made of etched copper and our images are recessed. We stamp our paper with a carver press (late 1800’s). The result is perfect, crisp and raised. These plates last forever. We have dies from the 20’s.
Q. How does your Made in the USA production define your business?
A. I love it. It does not suck to produce work for companies like Red Wing or to walk into Club Monaco and see our cards on the Made in the USA table. It’s a dream come true. It’s just fucking cool. We don’t need to buy tons of cheap crap made offshore. Buy a few well made things. I guess what I’m saying is FUCK COSCO.
Q. What are your hopes and dreams for Terrapin in 2012?
A. To make sure everyone here is earning a fair wage, has health insurance, vacation. The basics. Taking a regular paycheck would be amazing.
And because Ted and I can’t communicate with each other without a dose of juvenile humor, I’ve got some unnecessary questions for him:
Q. When did your hair begin to gray?
A. Junior Year of High School
Q.So you’re not 66 years old?
A. No. I’m an immature 45.
Q. You have a beautiful big brother relationship with Michael Williams. How do you guys maintain such a wonderful bond?
A. I’m not sure that’s entirely accurate but I think he feels sorry for me . It’s not unusual for him to ring me up just to tell me I’m pathetic or worse. Seriously, Michael Williams is the Man. Legally that’s all I’m allowed to say.
Q. What are your favorite expressions that you use daily?
A. Oh Hell Testes. Thank you spell check. Also FUCK OFF. Obviously.