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.
Mary Bruno, Bruno Press
Mary Bruno is letterpress printer in St. Joseph, Minnesota, where she runs Bruno Press, a print shop started by her father, design professor, Don Bruno. As you might expect, Mary’s love for printing and skill for the craft came from her father, whose memory she honors every time she carves linoleum, handsets wood or lead type, or prints a broadside. Mary produces an irreverent line of greeting cards that are sold nationally, and she has also been involved in organizing traveling exhibitions of letterpress.
What Hamilton means to me:
Hamilton and I go way back, back to the days of Shoeless Joe, before the Moran Brothers had really came in and worked their magic to save the place. I was good pals with Bill Moran and I got to come her back when the Globe Collection had been acquired. A bunch of us old schoolers got the first glimpses at the blocks and type and I knew that this was a special place for me. Have attended many of the Wayzgoose conferences there was where I got the meet all my current printing bros that inspire and motivate me. Over the last 10 years I have worked hard to do my part to preserve the craft of letterpress printing. I believe that I have a responsibility to teach young people and get them excited about this craft. I have been lucky to have had over 50 interns since 2008, they bring an energy to my printshop that I thrive on and I think they teach me as much as I teach them. I am happy that Hamilton is dedicated to continuing the legacy of letterpress printing in so many different ways. I am proud to be a part of that legacy and that is what Hamilton means to me.
My poster is about my love of letterpress printing along with the history of it. When my dad first taught me about the Printer’s Devil (that is what he called me), I have been obsessed with it. Ironically, my most recent intern Chandler Lannes, a recent Graphic Design graduate from St. Cloud State University, is an incredible illustrator. He did the cover of my End Of Times 3 International Broadside catalog and it was some of the most intentional work I have seen. I then asked if he would collaborate with me to come up with the Printer’s Devil that has been in my head for 20 years but I did not know how to bring him to fruition. We worked on him for weeks and the final step was me taking his illustration and carving it out of linoleum to put my own final spin on it, I LOVE it and cannot get enough of it. The story of my printer’s devil (Chandler), helping to create my printer’s devil (the image) is beyond fantastic. I invest a lot of time, patience and love into my interns and that is what makes me happy and helps me to believe that I am doing my part to keep print alive.