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.
Eric Woods, The Firecracker Press
After spending time in the 90s designing book covers, working in the newspaper biz, and cutting teeth in advertising firms Eric Woods decided to "go off the grid". He purchased a 10x15 Chandler and Price platen press in 2002, with the help of an old-timer, and started The Firecracker Press. One job led to another, staying positive was the name of the game, and taking the time to be crazy started making sense. Another press came along, then a larger studio, followed by a small crew of dedicated devils, and a fire that nearly ruined everything. But the prints don't stop! We renovated an entirely new space, opened our doors to the public, and continued to grow like it was 1899. Today The Firecracker Press operates out of its southside location (5 days a week) and our new, education-based venture, Central Print, is growing on the northside of St. Louis. Clearly, print is totally dead. Long live print.
What Hamilton means to me:
I first heard about Hamilton while I was working a straight, design job right out of art school. I had developed an interest in letterpress printing, not really knowing what that meant, and the interest slowly grew into a calling. One day the wind blew by my door and whispered something about new wood type being designed, by Bill Moran, and manufactured in Two Rivers. I started planning a vacation to visit and had the pleasure of walking into the old location on a summer day. Jim Moran was working the door that day and Celene Aubry was working in the back. I later attended my first Wayzgoose, through the urging of Brad Vetter, in the new location. I remember thinking, "The letterpress community is the best looking, nicest group of people." I still feel that way and count my blessings to be a part of a group I consider heroes. Maybe it's all a dream? It's so good, and the new friends I've made, as a result of hanging around the Hamilton orbit, can't be fully appreciated in multiple lifetimes.