Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum

Today I went to The Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum in Two Rivers, WI, for a workshop and play time using vintage wood type printing equipment and the actual vintage type from the heyday of the Hamilton Wood Type Company.  The museum is in the building built in 1927 to house a business that starting in the 1880s and came to dominate the wood type printing industry until its death due to new technologies.  See their website at if you want more information about the history of the company or the current facility.

I got there early so I decided to walk around the block and see what I could find.  This young lady beckoned from the balcony of the bar across the street but I was focused on art so I did not respond. 

The class today was one of many that the museum director, Jim Moran, conducts for whomever wants to get their hands dirty. 

The session started at 9:00 a.m. sharp with a tour of the facility. 

Then, there was a brief orientation to the methods of wood type printing available to us and we were set loose in the museum's printing shop to use some of the bazillion wood type they have for printing. 

I worked on a press that was very easy to operate.  Made from steel, it is a hand operated roller that produced fine work with each pass. It was also very easy to set up the type for my prints using the vintage wood type and "furniture" or magnets to set the type. 

I worked on a few different projects.  I made a small poster about my Dad.

Then made a book cover with the same type for a future project I have in mind.  Then I made a poster using my own first name initial "G" and finished with some abstracts.

This place is so cool.  Besides Jim making it a ton of fun and very easy for a newbie like me--where else in the world can you walk into a museum dealing with vintage stuff that lets you play with the exhibits? 

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