Ham at 20 is a collaborative poster project celebrating the twentieth anniversary of The Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum. For each month of 2019, a new poster (or two!) will be released via the Hamilton website shop in an edition of 50; 25 will be reserved for year-end portfolios that include all prints. The posters are being created by a roster of accomplished letterpress printers and promising up-and-comers starting in the field. Cathy and Nick are both designer-printers at Hatch Show Print in Nashville, Tennessee.
Cathy Batliner studied visual communication design and book arts at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (BFA 2016). After many days, late nights, and weekends spent in the SAIC Type Shop and at Starshaped Press she caught “the letterpress bug”. Perhaps more importantly, she gleaned a strong enough understanding of the medium to land herself a job printing professionally at Nashville’s Hatch Show Print. After being there for 2 years, the shop still dishes out excitement daily and provides built-in-buddies courtesy of the unparalleled staff of sickeningly talented hooligans.
What Hamilton means to me:
At Hatch Show Print, the bulk of our type collection was manufactured at Hamilton. Each letter carries a part of our history, which is inevitably a great weight. However, for me, the type is more representative of my livelihood. Without the wood type that we use to make posters, perhaps we wouldn’t be making them. And to be blunt, no posters means no paycheck. Yes, it’s a privilege to print incredible wood type on a daily basis, but I’m most confounded by the fact that my entire well-being is supported by this type. Type that was manufactured at Hamilton has passively become the stability that surrounds my livelihood. For me anyways, that has loads of value.
Nick Larson is a designer and printmaker from Sheboygan, WI and now based in Nashville, TN. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stout in December 2015 with a BFA in Industrial Design, where he also studied printmaking. He learned letterpress printing volunteering/interning at the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum in Two Rivers, WI. In the fall of 2018, he moved to Nashville to join Hatch Show Print as a designer/printer. In his spare time, he works on personal projects focusing prominently on relief printmaking.
What Hamilton means to me:
I came to Hamilton in early 2016 to intern for, what I planned at the time, one month while I was job hunting. It later turned to 4 months, then volunteering on Saturday's for 2.5 years, and a new career path. I came out of school feeling a bit burnt out on design and some of the stress, anxiety, and pretension that came with it. To come to Hamilton felt like a breath of fresh air, with a group of people with common values and goals working together to educate and push forward this letterpress craft. It was also a place where people introduced themselves and genuinely wanted to get to know you. That hospitality led to friendships that I can't imagine not having in my life now. I was given some amazing projects to work on during my time volunteering, but this is ultimately what made me keep coming in on my day off. I can't be appreciative enough for this place and the people who work, volunteer, and come together there.