Atelier Press & Letterfoundry
Atelier is a French word for the workroom or studio of an artist or a craftsman. As such it is an apt choice for my press, as printing and printmaking are creative arts which demand the highest craftsmanship. The melding of these – art and craft – is the essence of the Atelier Press. For all of my life I have endeavored to express myself through images and the printed word. It seems like I’ve always had a passion for both art and printing.
I began printing in 1957 after winning a simple rubber stamp printing outfit as a prize at a birthday party. Soon short of letters, I discovered I could buy other printing sets for just twenty-five cents each – my entire weekly allowance. Nelson Job Print was born, followed later by Norse Custom Printing (a name chosen in honor of my Scandinavian heritage.)
The discovery of the existence of fine printing and private presses brought about the desire for a proper press name – and after a diligent search, the Atelier Press was selected. When typefounding became a part of press activity the word Letterfoundry was added.
My first complete typeface was named Robin after my daughter. It was begun in 1976 and first used in 1978 to print a keepsake for the first conference on type founding, which was conceived and organized by Richard L. Hopkins of Terra Alta, West Virginia.
Subsequently I have cut a red and black plain-chant music, a set of Lombardic Initials that are closely modeled upon a late 15th century font cut by Hendrick Lettersnieder, a combination border called Ghost Ranch Horizon, and a wide variety of miscellaneous letters and ornaments.