Samantha Companatico, Bindery Apprentice
Samantha started as an apprentice in June 2018. She spends much of her time in the bindery and is largely responsible for curating our gallery exhibitions. She will be graduating from the San Francisco Art Institute in December 2019 with a BFA in Printmaking. Her focus is on woodcut relief prints and lithography, with a strong emphasis in books and the book arts. She will be co-directing the Open Book Show #6, and is also a member of the activist artist collective San Francisco Poster Syndicate, who live-silkscreen and hand out political posters for free on the streets during protests and times of turmoil.
Brian Ferrett, Typecaster, Press Operator, and Facilities Manager
Brian has a printing degree from MATC and worked in offset web and screen printing. In 2008 he joined M&H Type as a typecasting apprentice under Lewis Mitchell. These days he co-manages M&H's daily operations, maintains the historic casting machines and presses, and works the presses as needed. He is also the person most likely to know where to find things. Brian is a member of the Northern California chapter of the American Printing History Association, the American Typecaster Fellowship, and volunteers with San Francisco Public Library's annual Valentine’s Day broadside event.
Megan Gibes, Lead Bookbinder
A life-long love of working with her hands led Megan to study bookbinding at the North Bennet Street School in Boston. Upon graduation in 2015, she went to work in Santa Barbara as the Head Bookbinder for Heirloom Bindery. A chance encounter revealed the Arion Press apprenticeship program. Working with Rochelle Youk, Megan completed her apprenticeship in the fall of 2018 and now runs day-to-day production in the bindery. An active member of the Guild of Bookworkers and board member of the Hand Bookbinders of California, she also creates her own work as Long Arrow Bindery.
Chris Godek, Journeyman Typecaster
Typecaster Chris Godek trained as an M & H apprentice with Brian, as well as Lewis Mitchell, and has worked as a typecaster at M & H Type for the past eight years. He began working with letterpress printers as a hobby and fell in love with the craft. Chris also maintains and repairs our century-old typecasting machinery, manages the day-to-day business of M & H Type, and arranges and participates in talks, demonstrations and local type- and print-related events. Together, Chris and Brian hire and train new apprentices, and host weekly tours.
Jeff Raymond, Third Year Printing Apprentice
After two decades in film, animation, and design, Jeff joined Arion Press in 2017, apprenticing with Blake Riley in the pressroom. In addition to printing responsibilities, he shares in design duties and provides invaluable tech assistance to our decidedly analog organization. He is a talented artist, and enjoys drawing, lettering, photography, and web design. A self-described type nerd, Jeff is a supporter and volunteer with the San Francisco Center for the Book.
Blake Riley, Publications Director, Lead Printer
With a background in non-profit arts organizations and for-profit graphic design, Blake joined Arion Press as its first apprentice in 2001. Initially assigned to work with master bookbinder Leif Erlandsson, after several years he began to assist Arion stalwart Jerry Reddan on press. Upon Jerry’s retirement in 2012, he began to oversee the activities in the pressroom and his responsibilities have since expanded to include production management, creative direction, and new project development. He is a member of the Northern California Chapter of the American Printing History Association and creator of TapRoot Editions, a relatively non-commercial imprint that endeavors to leverage letterpress traditions in the service of non-traditional texts.
Sarah Lariviere, Program Director
Sarah joined the press in December 2018 and quickly carved out her role at the nonprofit Grabhorn Institute. A novelist with a master’s degree in social work and a background in community art education, she is passionate about developing innovative gallery exhibits, creating vibrant public programming and cultivating strong partnerships to share the historic press with the Bay Area.
Beth McLaughlin, Bookkeeper
Beth came to Arion with experience in nonprofit bookkeeping, legal administration, and grants management, and she oversees the office and keeps the books, as well as assisting with sales and subscriber relations. Beth is also a writer and solo performer, having appeared in fringe festivals in the US and Canada, and most recently in New York City’s 2019 Frigid Fringe. She has volunteered at the Western Neighborhoods Project, The Lantern Center for Hospitality, and is currently a volunteer facilitator at the Center of Attitudinal Healing through the Cancer Center of Marin.
Sarah Songer, Operations Manager
Sarah grew up in her family’s Santa Barbara print shop and later earned a bachelor’s degree in Comparative Literature; clearly, she was meant to end up at Arion. She started as a bindery apprentice in 2006 and trained under Leif Erlandsson and Blake Riley. Sarah quickly undertook a managerial role in the bindery and elsewhere, filling in where needed with a variety of administrative tasks, eventually serving as production manager. After a brief hiatus to pursue her own book repair business, she has returned to help update and keep the offices running smoothly. Sarah is a member of the Hand Bookbinders of California and the Guild of Bookworkers, a former volunteer at the Book Club of California, and a future instructor at the San Francisco Center for the Book.