Every picture has a story...
The Porter Hill Press. Inspired by?
Well, a combination of factors actually. The photographs below are a pictorial representation of the inspiration of .... a lifetime of work.
The story starts with my own story and life ---having begun in the gentle rolling Allegheny Mountains of Western New York, in the south hills near East Aurora. Many may know of a significant group of artisans who lived and worked as Roycrofters; a group dedicated to the Arts and Crafts Movement of the early 20th Century’s Progressive Era. The Roycrofters, like many people of the era, believed that a joyful life meant that our work was inextricably linked to ourselves as individuals. I grew up with the influence of this simple and no-nonsense philosophy of life. Do what you love; love what you do. That elegance is truly found in simplicity---of everything.
Having dedicated my life’s work and energies to the graphic arts, I was intrigued when my print instructor, now retired, called to let me know the “old press” was being sold with the closure of the university Print Shop. I was a little resistant .... but compelled to re-think my “swearing off” of ink in 1984.
And Porter Hill? A little place in the heart of wine country in the Finger Lakes Region of New York State where my wife and I now live full-time, after 35 years in Dallas-Fort Worth. Among the Sugar Maples, robins and cold dreary winters, I’ve come to the conclusion that my sometimes cranky nature and strange attraction to all things cantankerous (can you say Kluge?) began.....where I did! In those homey hills. Like your favorite shoes. Despite 35 years in my adopted state of Texas where I will always love my former home city of Fort Worth, I suppose apples just do not fall far from the tree, or so they say.
Long story short, I am very excited to bring the art of letterpress on the American-made Kluge press to the discerning public in places near and far. After 25 years of specializing in graphic finishing work (including film and sheet to sheet laminating, custom automated fold/gluing, foil and emboss work up to 26x40), I am both fascinated by and in love with this craft. Its beauty is timeless, unique, and a breath of fresh air in this “flat” digital world in which we now live. Like the changing of the seasons we experience over our lifetimes, we sometimes recognize when we’ve come full-circle.
So glad to be back in the beautiful hills of New York!
Seth J Adams, Proprietor