Welcome to Whisky Jack Letterpress

I began setting up a letterpress print shop in 2014 when I acquired an antique Challenge 21-M proof press (ca. 1960s) from Victoria, BC, by way of Southern California, and moved into Studio 300 in the historic Grain Exchange Building, 815 1 St SW in downtown Calgary. I moved in the tabletop Chandler & Price that had been in my basement, and began putting together a collection of type ranging from 6-pt metal type to 8-inch wood type, with all kinds of bits and bobs scoured from the internet and classified ads.

At the time, I really had no idea what the master plan was. (I still don’t, I suppose.) I knew that I loved the craft and history and general pigheadedness of letterpress; as a poet, I believed in the artistry of the written word and felt its form ought to carry as much meaning as its content. So, I am slowly acquiring skills by making mistakes and asking lots of questions of my printer friends, and I hope to work my way into the book arts through small stationery projects and broadsides.

You can follow my progress on Instagram @whiskyjackpress and below. Please click on the projects below for more information, or to purchase.

Portfolio

“GAS.”

Giving a Shit, Vol I. is the result of a yearlong labour of love and reflection.

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“Wind in the Willows.”

12 pt Garamond on fine paper. 8×10 inches. Excerpt from Wind in the Willows (Kenneth Grahame, 1908).

“Stay Hungry.”

Various wood type, printed on 13×9 chipboard.

“Sonnet 118.”

12 pt Garamond and 50-line wood type on Mohawk Superfine. 12×12 inches. Edition of 13. For Bodleian Libraries’ Sonnets 2016.

“Where Once They Stood.”

12 pt Garamond with 8-line wood type on fine paper. 13×19 inches. Edition of 15.

“Saltfish.”

Hand-cut linocut with 8-line wood type and 12 pt Garamond on fine paper. 13×19 inches. Edition of 25.

“Hearts.”

12 pt Garamond on fine paper. 7×9 inches. First edition of 8 and second edition of 13. Second edition for Society of Northern Alberta Printmakers print exchange and exhibition, August 2016.

“Come on College Boy, get your hands dirty.”

Various wood type on fine paper. 13×19 inches. Edition of 20.

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