The Open Press, a project started by Matt Greenwell, head of the Art department at UTC, and Paul Rustand, the creative director at Widgets and Stone, a local design company, resulted from their mutual passion for hands-on creativity. They are both comfortable using the tools and techniques of the digital age, but at the same time they both have a yen for a time when everything moved a little more slowly, and the work produced had the immediately recognizable stamp of an artisanal, made by hand product. Not necessarily perfect, but(for them) beautiful in its imperfection.
They have started a KickStarter campaign to raise the funds to finish the work they’ve already started building a huge work space on the south side at Market and 14th street where both novices and experienced printers and print makers can use the kind of equipment that was commonplace before computers, but is now widely regarded as little more than scrap metal.
Their Kick Starter campaign ends on Friday August 2, 2013. They are trying to raise enough money to cover the costs of plumbing and electrical improvements, as well as an initial inventory of papers, inks, and the host of other supplies and materials they need to open the press to Chattanooga. They hope to be open and offering classes by September.
As Matt Greenwell put it recently, "Our ultimate goal is to build a local community of designers, fine artists, and craftspeople in Chattanooga, around beautiful, unique equipment and technical expertise."
For more details on the press and their Kick Starter campaign Google: kickstarter.com/projects/1193800161/the-open-press-chattanoogas-print-and-book-arts-co-op