This summer, Hamilton hosted a workshop with an interesting and specific focus: letterpress printing of seed envelopes which each participant filled with saved seeds. Instructor, Katie Ries led the way for this interactive and new-to-us workshop. Katie is an artist and educator who makes drawings, prints, objects, and events about the relationships between people and place and she is an Associate Professor of Art at St. Norbert College.
Workshop participants were instructed to save seeds from earlier in the growing season, bringing them to Hamilton for storing in printed envelopes which were exchanged amongst all of the participants.
In addition to the customary wood type and image blocks usually available in workshops, metal type was also made available to participants, enabling the printing of longer words onto the small envelopes.
Workshop participants used various approaches in printing their seed envelopes, including rainbow rolls, multiple colors/press passes, and direct drawing into an inked surface.
At the end of the workshop, each participant divvied up their saved seeds, filling enough of their custom-printed envelopes to exchange with everyone in the workshop.
Each participant ended up with a 'portfolio' of seeds stored in unique letterpress-printed envelopes to safely hibernate, perchance to be planted in the spring.