Letterpress Posters, 2001-2011

From 2001-2011, I worked at Yee-Haw Industrial Letterpress and Design Co. in Knoxville, Tennessee. By scouring old print shops for outdated equipment and putting it to use again, Yee-Haw built a shop that helped pioneer the modern letterpress revival, and fostered a new appreciation of the form. Aside from printing posters from one of the largest collections of letterpress type in the country, we hosted visiting artists and interns, showed in galleries internationally, held art events in our shop space, lectured at universities and design conferences, and ran a wholesale card business. Over the course of my 10 years there, we designed and printed over 400 posters, in editions ranging from 50-3000. This is a small selection of my work from that archive.

 

 

NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART
DADA EXHIBITION, 2006

This major museum exhibition was the first in the United States to focus exclusively on Dada, one of the twentieth century's most influential avant-garde art movements. Being that lettepress printing played such a large part in the Dadaists' work, the National Gallery commissioned Yee-Haw Industries to design and print a letterpress poster from antique wood and lead type. It was said that this was the first time the Gallery had commissioned "new work by live working artists".


 

BIJOU THEATRE KNOXVILLE
LEO KOTTKE PERFORMANCE, 2006

I've always respected the guitar playing of Leo Kottke. He was a master of his craft. Listening to his 6- & 12-String Guitar record, you can tell that he took his playing seriously, but also enjoyed it at the same time. We made a lot of posters at Yee-Haw, but when we were asked to make a print for this performance, it seemed like one that was worth more time to me. It was printed on a Vandercook Universal 3 Letterpress in three colors from hand-carved woodblocks, and hand-set wood and metal type.


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CITY OF KNOXVILLE, TENNESSEE
MARKET SQUARE FARMERS' MARKET, 2006 & 2010

After a long hiatus, the downtown Knoxville Farmers' Market was reborn in 2005, and has grown and grown ever since. Each year, we produced a new poster for the event, keeping the same format, but featuring a different vegetable or plant. The prints quickly became a highly anticipated and sought-after item.


 

THE PHILLIPS COLLECTION
THE SOCIETE ANONYME EXHIBITION, 2007

Founded in New York in 1920 by Katherine S. Dreier, Marcel Duchamp, and Man Ray, Société Anonyme, Inc. was set up to promote contemporary art among American audiences. The collection is now housed at Yale University and saw its first traveling exhibition in 2007.


 

DAVIS & ELKINS COLLEGE
SUMMER CONCERT AND DANCE SERIES, 2009

This poster was printed to promote music and dance classes offered at the Augusta Heritage Center of Davis & Elkins College in West Virginia. The history and craft involved in letterpress printing seems to go hand-in-hand with traditional music and dance, and as a player myself, I am always eager to work with musicians, dancers, educators and folklorists.


 

GREAT GRAY OWL CALENDAR, 2012

No matter how many times one sees an owl in the wild, it always feels like a chance occurrence, a right-place at the right-time happening. So it seemed like somewhat of a contrast to place one in the context of the everyday routine on this calendar. The image is carved from linoleum, framed by antique wood borders. Title is set in wood type and subtext in metal. The yellow flats are printed from the backs of old wood type. The tear-away calendar pad was designed separately and printed offset.


 

CHATTANOOGA OLD FIDDLERS
GREAT SOUTHERN OLD TIME FIDDLERS' CONVENTION, 2010 & 2011

The Great Southern Old-Time Fiddlers' Convention in Chattanooga, Tennessee is one of the oldest events of its kind. Originally hosted in 1925, the festival had been an on-again, off-again occurrence through the years. In 2010, the Chattanooga Old Fiddlers' Convention made a big push to put emphasis back on the convention and return it to its former annual status, with new sponsors, a new location in a historic hall, prize money, and stage performances from well-respected musicians. Fiddlers from all over the region came out of the woodwork to compete and play music with old friends.


 

ACTOR'S CO-OP OF KNOXVILLE
CARNIVALE OF THE DEAD, 2007

This poster was printed for a costume party benefitting a local non-profit actors co-op. Rather than die-cutting the coffin shape, we created custom jigs from wood in order to have our paper-cutter hit the correct angle.