Pomegranate Letterpress + Design is the husband and wife team of Joe Borges and Margot Cudmore. We met while working in the crazy world of advertising and realized if we wanted to keep our sanity we needed to find an outlet that let us be the client and produce work that makes us happy.
Tell us about your work and what we can expect to see at this years Handmade Hamilton?
Our work is very much a mix of Canadiana and our sense of humour. We love the art of typography, and strong clean layouts. At Hamilton Handmade, you’ll see a collection of hand-printed art prints, drink coasters, greeting cards, booklets and our limited edition Canada150 calendar. Many of our art prints are eyebrow-raising, funny, or interesting quotes or phrases,. Recently, we’ve added original lino carving images to mix giving us a delightful new way to share our stories. We use a 600-year-old technology to create these truly one-of-a-kind items – each one different because of the nature of the printing process, the character of the wood and metal letters and the fact that each print is hand-fed, one colour and one sheet at a time. You can expect to find something that will make you smile knowing you’re the only one who owns something so unique.
What does your process look like?
Our process is a fluid merging of creativity and production. We make a great team by building on each other’s strengths and weaknesses. The process can start with a spark of an idea while driving in the car or talking to people at one of the craft shows we participate in. Once we have a new idea, we figure out the best way to make it come to life. A new art print might be created with our selection of wood and metal type, or it might be an original lino-carving illustration – or even a combination of both! Much thought goes into who we a creating this art for, and how they will experience it. All this before we even get to the press!
Once on press, we start hand-setting the type and creating the layout – this is when it pays to be fluid in your creative process! Sometimes the set-up takes hours and sometime the layouts create themselves in minutes. We take time to craft the layout, we kern the letters, we adjust the rollers, hand-mix the inks and then we replace, we discard, we start over. Or sometimes, we just print and enjoy the results.
What are your inspirations?
Letterpress itself is an inspiration because the process can’t be rushed, it is tactile, it is old, it is new, and it is different each time. Our collection of wood type metal type is inspiring because each letter has its own story. How many hands have touch this piece of wood, set it, cleaned it, sorted it and printed with it? How many stories has it told?
And Canada is inspiring. All of it. We love how this country is growing and learning, and what it brings out in all of us. The merging of cultures, all the foods it opens up for us. The CBC inspires us. Music inspires us. The farmers’ market. Our own garden. Pop culture - we love watching TV (a hang-over from our advertising days!). We love sports. We love going to Ottawa Street and hitting the antique shops. Or going to a concert in Oakville, or a local paper store in Thorold. Inspiration is all around us, you just have to be listening and watching for it.
Many makers listen to podcasts. Do you? and what are some of your favourites?
Yes, we both listen to some podcast. Two Podcasts we’d recommend are Unthinkable and The Creator’s Journey both deal with being creative and all the things that come with it.