Name: Sam Bradd
Website links: Website | Etsy | Twitter
What do you make?
I use two antique letterpresses to make paper goods including prints, calendars and labels. I also print kitchen textiles such as tea towels and napkins. My imagery centers around food and sustainability.
What or who inspires you?
Right now I feel inspired by: nature, bikes, sharing food, people working for social justice, and by people who are protecting our agricultural space. I read independent investigative journalism to be re-inspired - to personally keep learning and participating in ways that build resiliency, community, and justice.
How did you get started?
I took a miniature book course at Emily Carr in 2004. When I walked into the letterpress studio, I just was mesmerized by the whole process. It brought many of my favorite artistic things together. Afterwards, I borrowed time on other people's letterpresses, kept learning other printmaking techniques, and bought a small press in 2008. I found my bigger letterpress (Chandler and Price 12x18) this summer through a Craigslist ad. I was happy to rescue it before it was melted for cast iron frying pans.
What are your favourite materials to work with?
Paper and more paper. I collect paper of all types, from small scraps of wrapping paper to the 2 new boxes of FSC-certified paper currently stored in the bedroom. For the letterpress I use polymer plates, metal type, and my favorite is wood type.
What is the hardest and your most favourite part of crafting?
The hardest part of making art is knowing when it's finished - or when it gets to a stage that I'm happy with. My favorite part is hitting that groove in my creative process where I don't even know what I'm doing next- my hands just go and things build in front of my eyes.
List 5 of your favourite links and why you like them
Favianna Rodriguez is a poster artist. Her "pieces reflect national and international grassroots struggles, and tell a history of social justice through graphics."
Can't imagine this city without the Rhizome Cafe. It's a great community-focused place. Rhizome hosts the annual Crafts for a Cause event in December too.
Annie Leonard, the genius behind The Story of Stuff. Her videos are creative and sharp. New titles include cap and trade, bottled water, and (coming soon) electronics.
Daily eye candy comes from Drawn.ca.
Chris Tyrell, local arts consultant, has an excellent book and blog for visual artists in Canada called Artist Survival Skills.
Do you have any advice for those in the biz?
Like all things, your art will change and that's okay. Have a realistic retail price that gives you a realistic wholesale price too. Keep an accurate log of your art inventory and sales, whether it's in a notebook or a spreadsheet. Learn about taxes.
Do you consider yourself an artist or a crafter?
The tradition of letterpress was once a trade and a commercial practice, and it has become artistic. So I'd say artist. But I like being in the grey area between artists and craft(ers).
(photo images courtesy of Sam Bradd)
If you are interested in being featured, please send us an email at info(at)gotcraft(dot)com.
Check out our past features...
Katrinshine - feature #42
Penelope Brown - feature #41
Laura Bucci Handmade - feature #40
Track and Field Designs - feature #39
Irit Sorokin Designs - feature #38
Clockwork Fantastica - feature #37
Divesin - feature #36
Flight Path Designs - feature #35
Plantscapes - feature #34
Olive - feature #33
Uncle Phil / Flipside - feature #32
Kim Werker - feature #31
Haiiku - feature #30
Smidgebox Designs - feature #29
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Maked - feature #25
Firefly Notes - feature #24
Florence Ann - feature #23
Him Creations - feature #22
Jenny Hart - feature #21
district thirty - feature #20
tinywarbler designs - feature #19
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Cabin + Cub - feature #17
Rachel Hobson - feature #16
Green Couch Designs - feature #15
Tanis Alexis - feature #14
Sweetie Pie Press - feature #13
Fibre Manipulator - feature #12
Sam Made - feature #11
All Things Paper - feature #10
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Faythe Levine - feature #6
Coco Cake Cupcakes - feature #5
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The Beautiful Project - feature #1