Shift-lab at Hamilton

July through September of 2017 the museum has elated to display work by Shift-lab. Shift-lab is a collective of artists: Katie Baldwin, Denise Bookwalter, Sarah Bryant, Macy Chadwick, and Tricia Treacy. The collective began in 2013 as a platform for collaborative inquiry and they are propelled by the use of digital and analog technology in communication and collaboration. All five artists collaborate on projects that often include books and multiples while maintaining individual creative studio practices.

At the museum we had their recent project Trace on exhibition. We loved the opportunity to show a project that had many parts, including books, finished prints, and process work. Trace consists of three major parts. The first is a set of five folded paper books, each concerned with a manipulated space. Each artist went to a different site near their homes; a marina, a clay mine, an arsenal, a ski resort, and a trail. The books are contained in an enclosure with a map, which is an imagined landscape generated from sound files taken at each of their locations. The design and production of these five pieces yielded many process materials, including printing plates, proofs, and drawings. A carefully selected group of those materials makes up the second part of the project and served to inspire the third, two to three prints from each artist.

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Then in September three of the artists came to the museum for a week-long residency. Macy Chadwick, Denise Bookwalter, and Sarah Bryant worked in the Visiting Artists Studio to create a book based on pieces in the collection and the museum itself. The type is pulled from the Globe collection and the colors are inspired from the doors, floors, cabinets and columns around the working space in the museum. Sarah Bryant writes about their process in her Big Jump Press blog post. If you are interested in purchasing a copy of the book they created there is more information about Split Case at the end of this post.

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On Saturday Macy and Sarah taught a workshop where students explored using layers in their printing. Attendees carved blocks of linoleum and printed with wood type in the Classroom Pressroom. Macy and Sarah showed how the vintage blocks can be good inspiration for the start of a carving. Each student had their own Showcard Press to work on once they were ready to start printing. There were some delightful experiments with transparent ink, large letterforms, and hand-carved blocks.

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After the long day of printing there was a gallery reception. After an introduction by Jim Moran, the museum director, Macy and Sarah told us about their process for Trace and showed everyone in attendance their work so far on Split Case. It is always a good time when we can gather at the museum to talk about the printing process, our inspirations, and how we create the work we make.

A giant thank you to all the artists of Shift-lab! We were thrilled to show their work at Hamilton. Then to have such a beautiful piece that was inspired by the museum while they were here really warmed our hearts. We hope they return to Two Rivers soon!

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Split Case
Designed by Denise Bookwalter, Sarah Bryant, and Macy Chadwick during a Shift-lab residency at the Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum in Two Rivers, Wisconsin in September of 2017. Bound by Sarah Bryant and Katie Baldwin on Thanksgiving day in Huntsville, Alabama. Tricia Treacy, our fifth Shift-lab member, is spending this semester in Rome, but was with us in spirit.

Letterpress-printed from wood type, metal type, and uncut maple on Zerkall book paper, and sewn into in a translucent Pergamenta cover. Edition of 25 copies.
14 x 12 3/4″
$200

You can purchase your own copy of Split Case by contacting Sarah at sarahherrickbryant[at]gmail.com.

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