The Westchester Chappel

The Westchester Chappel is a small private group of men and women who share a common interest in practical letterpress printing. (In 1800’s England, the local craft union of printers was known as a chappel and all of our original members resided in Westchester County, NY – hence our name.) Similar chappels exist elsewhere in the United States.

Since its inception in 1960, the Chappel has undertaken to produce a calendar as an annual group project with each member printing a page. From time to time, the Chappel has also undertaken other group printing projects such the history of each of the member presses, and a collection of favorite recipes. Throughout the year, members print a wide variety of items for their own pleasure and use which they usually share with other members during a “Show and Tell” portion of a Chappel meeting. An inviolate code of the hobby printer is that he/she will never take work away from a commercial printer who makes his livelihood from printing.

The complete collection of all the Chappel pages can be viewed at

We hope you will visit and be inspired by our work.

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Holy smokes…what a trove!

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Thanks a lot for sharing this Steve. I’d never heard of the Chappel before and am really enjoying looking through it all. Esp like the cover of the 1984 calendar!


How do you choose the Father of the Chapel (FoC) or Mother of the Chapel (MoC)?

Plateprinter, whom ever you are.

At each gathering, or meeting of the Chappel the host is designated the Father or Mother of the Chappel for that meeting. A typical meeting has a cocktail hour, a ringing of a replica Liberty Bell, (call or order), a show and tell discussion of interesting letterpress or graphics topics. This could include recent printed work by a member, or something they received from wherever, APA, etc. For our annual calendar collation “party” - Wayzegoose, we present our page and describe our thoughts and print process. And all meetings, retire for a dinner, and finally a tour of the host’s shop.

Each UK chapel was a trade union branch and the FoC was the branch leader responsible for enforcing union rules, negotiating overtime, collecting membership fees etc. As a platen press apprentice I made the mistake of inching forward a cylinder press being worked on by a friend to help him resulting in me being find by the union for touching the press controlled by a different trade union and banned from doing overtime for a while.