Hello! I’m Chris Charles, and I own Fly Rabbit Press. My business Facebook page is here.
How long have you been an artist and how did you get started?
I’ve been an artist my whole life – in high school I used to waive lunch so I could take an extra art class! After high school I attended Montserrat College of Art (Beverly, MA) and received a BFA in painting. Then, while living in Southern California, I went back to school for graphic design, which I still do today. About 4 years ago I stumbled on letterpress printing. After taking a couple of classes I became a renter at the Genesee Center for Arts Education. This is still where I do most of my printing.
Explain a little bit about your process.
I use a combination of hand-set type, linoleum carving and photopolymer (custom plates made from computer files). Setting type involves putting together letters made of metal or wood, one letter at a time. Everything needs to be properly spaced and blocked out, then locked up in the press. I would say about 80% of each project is sketching/design and set-up, the other 20% actual printing on the press.
What’s the comment heard most often about your art?
Many people say they like how it has a vintage look. I also get laughs from a few of my cards.
What is one thing people find surprising in how your art is created?
I don’t think letterpress is a printing technique many people are familiar with, so often my prints are confused for silk-screens or even digital prints! Once I explain the process, people are surprised by the technique, and how time-consuming it is.
What’s the one tool you couldn’t live without, in creating your art?
How has your art changed over time?
I feel like I have more tricks up my sleeve these days – different techniques I’ve learned or experimented with over the past several years–which creates more possibilities. My carving skills have improved as well, so overall I’ve become more adventurous with my art.
What’s your favorite part of making your pieces? Least favorite?
My favorite part– the first time I pull a print, and get to see ink on paper.
Least favorite– when things go wrong on the press and I can’t figure out why. Usually many tears are involved.
What’s your dream project?
A poster series for a musician or festival (listen up Jazz Fest!), of course with no limit on materials/colors I can use, and an endless budget 🙂
Where is your art available for purchase?
Dunham Enfield Gallery
Pistachio Press, 250 Goodman Street, Rochester, NY 14607
Western NY Book Arts Center in Buffalo, N Y (in the gift shop)