In a name

When I came up with the name Thread Lock Press, I must admit that I did not have all of these connotations in mind. I liked the sound of it for what it was I was doing. It began with a brief fairy-tale-based chapbook of three poems with accompanying watercolor paintings by my friend Emily.

But now that I've had time to live inside it for a while and grow, I find that it is even more well-suited to what I'm becoming in my work. In the past couple years, my interests in writing poetry, letterpress printing, and experiments in sewing by hand have all been tugging at me for fuller attention. Poetry and the writing of it will always be my primary concern, and what time is left is divided between the latter two. But gathered under this name, I see how they can all fit together. The making of books, from start to finish, involves equal parts printing, and sewing. There is the writing/creating of the text; the designing, setting, and printing of the text; and then the binding of the printed signatures with needle and waxed linen thread. Even the incorporating of fabric in the book covers, covering either the spine, cover boards, or both.

Even at the finest level, there are great connections between printing and sewing in the similarities between paper and fabrics. Although not at all an original thought, I had a personal epiphany while reading an article called "Archival Concerns" by Coral Jensen of ArtPaper (a distributor of gorgeous handmade & traditionally milled papers of the highest quality, which I highly recommend). They are cousins in the fiber art family: the best paper is made, not from wood pulp, but from cotton rag, which is also, obviously, a large component textile manufacture. The way I see it, the material concerns of both printing and sewing are inextricably linked. And my dual interests should, I hope, only continue to fuel each other in my future creative pursuits.


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