SNAPline featured artist: Christa Carleton
Christa Carleton resides in Missoula, Montana. She has her BFA and MFA in Printmaking and has been creating prints for over a decade. Christa got the bug for letterpress printing while completing her graduate degree. The accumulation of antique type and rusty refurbishing projects are quickly piling up in her garage. While being a printmaker is a huge part of her identity it isn’t her only love. Christa enjoys cooking vegetarian dishes, fly fishing, gardening, hiking, listening to podcasts, and drinking cocktails.
I consider myself an analog artist; my practice relies heavily on physicality and allows me to work without an electronic interface. The old saying “the power of the press belongs to those who can operate one” resonates with me each time I print.
Designing in letterpress is challenging because of the increasing rarity of moveable type. A single missing letter may force me to choose another, more complete font, and adapt my compositions accordingly. The three editions I made for SNAPline are connected through a single idea, that I would let the type collection at Montana State University (where I teach) inform my designs. This approach to creating with letterpress allows me to be influenced by the different fonts and image blocks unique to each studio’s collection. For example, the metal type font, Phoenix, informed the idea and design of the Army & Navy recipe print. With each edition I wanted to show the range of letterpress, that it can be used for carefree loud prints, classical information giving design, and for serious fine art. The majority of my artwork focuses thematically on the agency of women, but I also appreciate making work that harkens back to the medium’s original use. For me, letterpress is the one printmaking medium that has infinite design combinations and no limitations on what I have to make with it.
To see more of Christa’s work visit:
Front Cover: Christa Carleton, Get Paid, 5 3⁄4″ × 9 3⁄8″, letterpress on French Paper Co. Speckletone, 2018.
Christa Carleton, Army & Navy Cocktail, 5 1⁄2″ × 9 3⁄4″, letterpress on Stonehenge, 2018.
Christa Carleton, Get Paid, 5 3⁄4″ × 9 3⁄8″, letterpress on French Paper Co. Speckletone, 2018.
Christa Carleton, Me Too, 7 1⁄2″ × 9 1⁄2″, letterpress & silkscreen on French Paper Co. Speckletone, 2018.