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Letter press and candles

When Allison Chapman was young, she would help her grandfather demonstrate old-fashioned printing on a letterpress at living-history festivals and events. When he died, he left 14-year-old Allison his 1892 press. Chapman moved to Worthington, a Columbus suburb, two years ago from Minnesota and set up Igloo Letterpress in the historic downtown, turning out post cards, invitations, posters, books and all sorts of other printed material with the hand-made quality her grandfather taught her. And she is glad to share her profession with others.

She has several class options for groups, and she let us try a hand. I pulled a slot-machine-like handle to raise an impression on a business card and cranked the handle on a press that rolled red ink on a card to spell thank you — the sentiments I felt for Allison taking me back in time. We then walked over to the Candle Lab, where we got to make a natural soy candle. After sampling more than 110 fragrances from almond to yuzu, we picked out three we wanted to combine to make a candle. The choices also included everything from bubble bath and campfire to morning dew and summer lawn.

I chose dark chocolate, whipped cream and burnt sugar for a desert-style candle. Seated at a fragrance bar, owner Steve Weaver helped us mix fragrance oils in varying doses into a 170-degree base oil until we got an aroma we were satisfied with. It takes about an hour for the candles to set up, so we put the time to good use by walking next door to the House Wine to sample some of its large collection of more than 250 labels from an unusual wine-dispensing machine and then across the street for a delicious gourmet dinner at the historic Worthington Inn.