Red Nettle Press was initially founded as a small press imprint in October 2007. The first few years saw the design and creation of several titles, representing unique and outstanding authors with personal connections to the province of Alberta. Focusing on limited print-runs, using a variety of handmade, recycled and fine papers, these chapbooks were a launching point for my own growing interest in print- and book-making as an art form.
With the acquisition of a 1921 Chandler and Price vertical platen letterpress in the summer of 2010, much of my attention shifted towards not only construction of a new studio space, but the development of fine letterpress printing as part of the editions now being created. My desire for further education and research has led me to destinations such as Halifax, New York, Netherlands, Spain and Italy, in order to attend artist residencies, courses, exhibits, and workshops. Memorable connections made with other letterpress and book artists serve as a constant reminder that there is always more to learn.
From the beginning, my books have been handmade, with as much care and attention given to the process as possible, in an effort to engage with the book both as a literary and artistic medium. My intention is to provide a vehicle for the text that reflects, in a physical form, what the writer is seeking to express in the written form. Content, and context, therefore, is not limited to words alone. The book is conceived and executed from the beginning to be a work of art, and often evolves throughout its creation. Materials, printmaking techniques, binding…all are inspired by my relationship with the individual text and images. My hope is that book and text will work together to create an experience for the reader that is not just visual, but sensory on many levels.
This past year has provided wonderful opportunities for the creation of small edition artist books, which will continue to be the focus as I seek to experiment more with the intersections of letterpress printing and contemporary bookmaking.
Trisia Eddy Edmonton, Alberta