4th of July, Celebrating America's Makers

by Alex English June 28, 2018 3 min read

4th of July, Celebrating America's Makers

Sagebrushed at The Paper Seahorse

If you follow this blog space, you know by now we love exquisite, niche foreign things. Desk accessories made in Japan...German fountain pens...French paper. Italian glue that smells like almonds!

But there is a different specialness to the products made right here in the U-S-A. This July, for our country's 242nd independence anniversary, we wanted to highlight some of the best things from around the states available right here in the studio (and online of course).

Local Makers in Tampa Bay

4 Cat Studio at The Paper Seahorse

4 Cat Studio

Located in Dunedin, just across the bay from Tampa, 4 Cat Studio (a.k.a. Simone Sachs), is whimsical, intelligent, and artisanal. We carry the brand's Old Book journals, Vintage Post Card journals, event journals (scrapbooks), and assorted birthday and greeting cards.

All are handmade with a unique artistic point-of-view.

Pergamo Paper Goods

Gianna Pergamo is an illustrator and designer in St. Petersburg. She graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), where she discovered her love of mixed media. Through this medium and the style she developed there, she began to make narrative imagery.

Pergamo Paper Goods at The Paper Seahorse

These images, on greeting cards, stickers, and small art prints, are fanciful and humorous, and are inspired by vintage advertisements, textiles, and wallpapers, her dogs, and the beauty of nature. And of course, alligators!!


Maggie Sage designs elegant greeting cards for various occasions. They're sweet and colorful, whimsical and heartflet, with a uniquely sagebrushed polish.

We carry Sagebrushed thank you, birthday, anniversary, baby, condolence, and apology cards.

(see top photo)

From the opposite corner of the country

The Coy Hyena

The Coy Hyena (a.k.a. Kate Berwanger) is my personal favorite of our newer additions to the shop. Out in Seattle, she makes sharp, literary-inspired items with a flair for the dark.

In addition to pencils and buttons with funny phrases on them, her real talent is making 'zines with a tactile quality. Both Toast and Purge are original stories concocted by Kate, physically presented in a way that brings the story to life. Toast has burnt edges, dusty pages, and bits that fall out as you read. Purge includes sand from the Pacific Ocean, a bird's feather, and its pages are each hand-sprayed with ocean saltwater.

The Coy Hyena at The Paper Seahorse

I'm not even a huge fan of 'zines, and I fell in love with the uniqueness of these when I saw them.

American Handwriting

One of, if not the foremost American penman, is Mr. Michael Sull, who we hosted in Tampa in February for a series of handwriting workshops.

Sull's American Cursive Handwriting Self-Study Workbook and Curriculum is a tome, covering the birth of American script styles, which all link back to Platt Rogers Spencer, and all topics related to American script since then.

Sull's Handwriting System at The Paper Seahorse

Before the invention and widespread use of the typewriter (and subsequently, personal computer), Spencerian script was the de facto formal writing style for legal documents, correspondence, and any other official handwriting.

We carry Michael Sull's instruction books as well as an oblique nib holder he designed and carves himself. It's currently out of stock, but more are expected soon (hand crafted greatness takes time).

Also check out our American inks, recommended by Michael Sull, in red, white, and indigo blue (currently out of stock).

It was such a treat to have Mr. Sull in Tampa back in February, so we are continuing our collaboration with him. We've begun the process of designing a penmanship kit, akin to our Ultimate Modern Calligraphy Starter Kit, created in collaboration with The Postman's Knock.

Stay tuned!

Do Your Forefathers a Favor, and Improve Your Handwriting

Improve Your Handwriting Class

Liked everything you read just now? Want to learn a new style and/or improve your everyday handwriting? Make your mom and country proud this summer by taking a hands-on instructive course about improving your handwriting.

Saturday, August 4th, 10am-12pm. $45. Spaces are limited!

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