I got into this whole printing business for the love of words. I have quotations posted in every corner of my home, on every page of my journal, running on reel loop in my soul. The wisdom and thoughts of others wrapped in poetry wind their way around me, shape my life, don’t let me go.
Some of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s words first published in 1838 still resonate deeply in this human heart. His verses have been my own “Psalm of Life,” for many years, as I’ve navigated the thick brush that is the life of a twenty-something. Winding roads that have lead to dead-ends. Detours that have directed me to accidental, yet unforgettable vistas.
In 2009, it was a the Penland School of Crafts that I came to the press with serious intent. I had no idea what it would look like for me to join my life with a 2000 lb hunk of metal, but I knew what began in that light-filled studio was far from finished. When I read Henry’s words, my spirit sang “Amen!” The future was a mystery, but my hands could be working in the meanwhile.
So, I pressed those words into thick cottony Crane, and I posted them in front of my eyes to remind my heart. We’re not on this earthly plane forever. We’re Canaan bound. But, for now, we have work to do.
That said, I’m at somewhat of a crossroads again. And, I’m drawn back again to these worn and familiar lines that remind me that I shouldn’t sit idle as time churns, bringing forth new tomorrows. I’ll try and be patient, I’ll aspire to tire myself out living hard, longing expectantly.
Suffice it to say…that’s some of the backstory. The quote chosen for the DIY print event tomorrow is an excerpt from that poem. Please come and join me as I go back to the press to imprint these words on paper and memory both.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need directions! 11am-3pm. See you soon!
This coming Saturday, August 23 from 11am-3pm, Four Hats will be hosting an open studio and DIY print sale event! Come one, come all for deeply discounted prints, cards, notebooks, and unused supplies (envelopes, liners, papers, and more).
The DIY print will be $5/person and includes a short tutorial of the press and an opportunity to pull your very own print to take home. Cast your vote for the quote/phrase you’d like to see on press that day by sending an email to email@example.com with the number you choose:
1. There are things you do because they feel right and they may make no sense and they may make no money and it may be the real reason we are here: to love each other and to eat each other’s cooking and say it was good. - Brian Andreas
2. There are a thousand reasons to live this life, every one of them sufficient. - Marilynne Robinson, Gilead
3. Eat well, Travel often.
4. You are daring to imagine that you could have a different life.
5. Good is the enemy of great.
6. I don’t have to agree with you to like you, eat with you, or even respect you. — Anthony Bourdain
7. But how could you live and have no story to tell?— Fyodor Dostoyevsky
8. Everything you can imagine is real. — Pablo Picasso
9. When you stop doing things for fun you might as well be dead.
10. I found I could say things with colour and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way—things I had no words for. Georgia O’Keeffe
11. Home sweet home.
12. Keep on the sunny side.
13. Fight the good fight.
14. Taste and see.
15. Labor and wait.
Thanks all who submitted. Look forward to seeing you on Saturday. Don’t forget to email me if you need the studio address!
I spent some time reviewing my portfolio this morning, and I ran across this list of 10 Reasons Why I Love What I Do. Though it’s been only a year since it was written, much has changed with Four Hats, allowing for me to take the business from a full-time dream to a full-time job. It has honestly been one of the biggest adventures of my life.
This journey has forced me trust MY Creator and seek wisdom from others. I’ve learned through every misprint, typo, and smudge. I’ve been held up and inspired by an incredible group of artists and designers, who’ve spurred me along with their kind words and continued business.
And, all I have is gratitude as I look back on the last five years of my life here in Birmingham and remember how this came to be. At a turning point and without a plan, I came face to face with letterpress and a local printer at a Hatch Show Print workshop at Bottletree on my 24th birthday. From the moment I wrapped my fist around the crank handle of a Vandercook a few days later, everything changed.
And, now, it’s likely that in a few short weeks, I’ll be moving on from here — this place and these people that have served as my cheerleaders, my guinea pigs, my loyal clients, my friends. A new adventure awaits as I marry my number one press assistant and begin a life with him.
Stay tuned for news of where will land it what direction Four Hats will take in the months and years ahead. It’s sure to be a wild ride.