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.
Jessica Spring (Springtide Press)
Wood type carries the weight of ink and impressions from decades of use—promoting cure-alls, politicians or country singers—layered with fingerprints and cussing from every printer that locked it into place before. We wonder about the stories: who cut a little too close with the type saw, desperately carved an E on the reverse of an X, or lost that fourth corner of a precious border? While there is some joy at explaining our craft to novices, like docents at a history museum, it’s a whole other world to engage with printer friends at Hamilton. We are all there—printers past and present—surrounded by well-used tools of our trade with stories to share.
What Hamilton means to me:
Jessica Spring started out as a phototypesetter, then set real metal type in 1989. She has been a printer ever since, most recently inventing Daredevil Furniture to help other printers set type in circles, curves and angles. Her work at Springtide Press—artist books, broadsides and ephemera—is included in collections around the country and abroad. Spring has an MFA from Columbia College Chicago and teaches letterpress printing and book arts at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington. Since 2008 she has collaborated on a series of Dead Feminists broadsides, and is co-author of Dead Feminists: Historic Heroines in Living Color.