Kate Wyman, B.A. English, 2008
The summer after her 2008 graduation from UD, Kate Wyman was given a 1910 Chandler
& Price platen printing press. She spent that summer refurbishing its frozen gears,
studying its history, and teaching herself how to make it print. She was smitten.
Kate left her printing press behind in Louisiana and moved to Chicago, where she worked
a series of jobs, including one at a watchdog organization where she put her UD research
skills to use in an unexpected way: co-writing a reference book on Chicago's street
gangs. But to keep her interest in antique printing alive, she apprenticed under a
master typesetter and letterpress printer in a working print shop.
My desire to preserve the craft of letterpress printing is, without a doubt, rooted
in the respect of tradition that UD gave me. I cemented my deep love for words, fine
art, and history while I studied at UD, and letterpress printing is where the three
meet: turning words and images into art while preserving a piece of history. The mechanics
of crisp writing, the literary devices, translate seamlessly into the elements of
good visual design work, and I use them every day. I didn't need training in letterpress
printing in college; proper training came from my hands-on apprenticeship. What I
needed, and what I received at UD, was the stamina and desire to keep alive that which
is in danger of being lost. The UD community thrives on this stamina and uses it to
preserve an engagement with the heroes of Western Civilization. I hope to preserve
the craft of letterpress printing with the same zeal.
Kate's work can be found at grovestreetpress.com, and at her shop in the Warehouse District of New Orleans.