Claire Sammons ~ Washington

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Statement: "Claire Sammons is an interdisciplinary artist, printer, and poet who creates text-based artist’s books and works on paper using letterpress, offset, and digital printing methods. A native of Olympia, WA, Claire graduated from The Evergreen State College in 2009 with a Bachelor’s degree focused in Book Arts and Poetics. In May 2013, she received her MFA in Interdisciplinary Book and Paper Arts from Columbia College Chicago. She has taught undergraduate level letterpress courses at Columbia College Chicago and worked for The Journal of Artists’ Books as a printer and book reviewer. She now works as a letterpress printer in a rural shop in Washington State."

Arbitrary Wishbone and Thrill Passengers
By Claire Sammons
Chicago: Claire Sammons, 2013. Edition of 30.

Boxed set of two books: Arbitrary Wishbone and Thrill Passengers. Housed in 10.25 x 12" archival clamshell paper box with a letterpress printed label. The box includes a 2-page (one 9.625 x 11.625" sheet) explanation of the project by Sammons. Both books signed and numbered by the artist.

Arbitrary Wishbone: 10.25 x 11.75"; 56 unnumbered pages. Letterpress printed. Type specimen pages are handset in various sorts of metal and wood type (listed on a page at the book's end). Everything else is set in Haymaker, Franklin Gothic, and Adobe Garamond Pro and is printed from photopolymer plates.

Thrill Passengers :10.25 x 11.75"; 52 unnumbered pages. Inkjet printed. Type specimen pages are digitally set using free fonts designed in 2012 (listed on a page near the book's end).

Both books bound in quarter cloth. Paper for boards was offset printed on a Heidelberg GTO on Mohawk Superfine. Written, designed, printed, and bound by the author at Columbia College Chicago’s Center for Book and Paper Arts from the fall of 2012 to the spring of 2013.

Claire Sammons: "The books were an experiment to find out how labor, tools, and technology can influence the outcome of a text. The poems in both books were composed spontaneously using contrasting methods: Arbitrary Wishbone uses handset metal and wood type while Thrill Passengers is digitally set using desktop publishing software and free fonts. The resulting writing in each book reflects these methods as well as the environment I was in while working."

Claire Sammons, blog: "These two artist’s books are part of a larger interdisciplinary project that combines creative writing, letterpress and digital printing, hand bookbinding, blogging, and video. As primarily a writing experiment, this project works to discover how the use of specific yet disparate technologies can impact a text. Arbitrary Wishbone and Thrill Passengers correspond with the two technologies the artist limited herself to work with as she simultaneously wrote and typeset. Arbitrary Wishbone is handset and letterpress printed using historic metal and wood printing type. Conversely, Thrill Passengers uses contemporary digital fonts, desktop publishing software, and inkjet printing.

"Typographically, both books are historical references to traditional nineteenth-century type specimen books – commercial catalogs produced by type foundries to display and advertise their typefaces. The language used in these specimen books was spontaneously handset by type compositors – weaving together news, literary quotations, slang, stream-of-consciousness, and poetry to unknowingly create linguistic cultural portraits. Similarly, Arbitrary Wishbone and Thrill Passengers read as cultural portraits by documenting ambient language pulled from conversations, advertisements, radio, social media, and television. The books celebrate and investigate contemporary, non-linear reading practices developing in the face of digital media."

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Composition for Stern
By Claire Sammons
Chicago, Illinois: Clare Sammons, 2011. Edition of 50.

7 x 5"; 44 pages. Text handset and letterpress printed. The poem was set in metal and all other text was set digitally and letterpress printed from photopolymer plates. Metal spiral binding with paper wrapper. Printed at the Center for Book & Paper Arts in Chicago.

Clare Sammons, "A Note About the Making of This Book:" "The inspiration and driving force for this poem came from a typeface: Stern by Jim Rimmer. Rather than first writing a poem, then finding a typeface to suit the needs and personality of the text, I reversed the circumstances by choosing the typeface before I even thought about what the poem might be. My goal for this book was to compose a text for a specific visual representation of the alphabet. To do this, I had only two rules. First, I would not think about composition unless I was standing in front of the job case. Second, I would simultaneously generate text for the poem and set it by hand in metal type as a way to ensure that my focus remained on Stern. After repeating my slow process of composing/setting, printing, and distributing, I now have a poem for and from Stern."
$ 50

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Asking all the Right Questions
Volume one

By Claire Sammons
Chicago, Illinois: Claire Sammons , 2010. Edition of 20.

6 x 5.5"; 24 pages. Letterpress printed. Handsewn pamphlet binding with title printed on front cover. Printed at Columbia's Center for Book and Paper Arts.

Claire Sammons: "Asking All the Right Questions Volume 1, is a handset and letterpress printed artists' book that examines some of the most popular questions posed to Google. On the verso in orange ink is the seed question asked to Google, and on the recto in black is a list of the most common ways the question is finished. By creating a portrait through private inquiries, this book voyeuristically details our collective worries, self-conscious curiosities, and pop-culture gossip. This volume is the first in a series so that together the books will create a snapshot of the American Zeitgeist as it shifts over time."

$ 20

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Page last update: 07.30.18

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