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SlowPrint Residency Studio Update


We're sorry to report that the donation has been refused by the Two Rivers Historical Society.

Slowprint RIP?
I'm extremely sorry to say that due to circumstances beyond our control, the board of directors of the Two Rivers Historical Society which controls the Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum has refused to allow the museum to accept the donation of the Slowprint materials.
We are dumbfounded by this development, after six months of discussion, the rejection comes without an opportunity to hear directly from the board, nor to respond to the concerns which were raised.

Until a week ago, we had been on track to see the Slow Print Residency Studio come to life in mid-September, and to proceed with plans for Master Classes, workshops, and to put our Windmill and Miehle presses to work for the benefit of the Museum, its mission and its partners, including the Two Rivers Historical Society.

I'm greatly disappointed by this last-minute development but ultimately have to abide by their wishes.

At this time, we welcome any other opportunity to donate the facility where it can be preserved and available for educational and artistic use in the future, shipping and administrative costs to be paid by the receiver from Dubuque, Iowa.

Barring such donation, the facility will be liquidated before the end of September to cover outstanding debts and rent.

Donations to the Galena Design Center are beings accepted to help pay for safe storage of the equipment in the interim.

Thanks for your support.


Please support our relocation campaign to establish the Slowprint Letterpress Residency Studio at Hamilton Wood Type Museum in Two Rivers!

“SlowPrint Letterpress Residency Studio” established at the Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum

Update June 23

I've started adding some special gifts from my library and archives, as tokens of our esteem for our supporters.

Since the site doesn't provide good image tools, I'll post spccifics here

Macrobii Ambrosii Avrelii Theodosii, viri consvlaris, & illustris, In Somnium Scipionis, lib. II - ( S.Gryphius 1556 Venice)

Among the items are rare antiquarian books, limited edition prints, typographic specimens and type catalogues, calligraphic originals, letter carvings in marble and slate, and more.

Hello friends of Slow Print!
I am awaiting revised quotes from riggers and truckers, and now considering whether I can somehow manage the move myself with rented equipment and volunteer or hired helpers.


I'd like to give a little background on the shop in these first few updates, and why Hamilton has made this generous offer, and why I'm hoping to find those generous patrons and angels that can help make it happen before August! 


The shop we've had in Dubuque since 2008 began in my dad’s garage in 1979, rooted in a 1930s’ Evanston(Chicago) stationer’s shop that I’d acquired with a couple of friends. The only press left from that shop is our lovely little 10x15 C&P, but most of the cabinets and furniture are from there. I have spent the last three plus decades trying to keep the stuff from being thrown to the winds, and I hope this arrangement will finally do it. 


When I saw that Silver Buckle Press was going to be there, I told Jim Moran that maybe I should figure out a way to get my press there, and he was immediately enthusiastic about the idea.


I’m particularly honored, since, indeed, Jim doesn’t 'need' the equipment (Well, actually the museum doesn’t have a functioning Miehle or Windmill at the moment. The presses on display are not in good repair, though of course he could find plenty). I look forward to assisting Jim and Stephanie in those longer print runs that are just not practical on a flat bed, or treadle run platen.


So it’s not really as much about the equipment, per se, but the fact that I (if I may say it) bring a rather unique set of perspectives along with the shop. 


That is, as a printer, I’ve studied ancient, and revival, and modern letterpress from Gutenberg and Jenson and Aldus (at RIT with Hermann Zapf), the Aldine editions in my own small library, through Gryphius, and Christoph Plantin to Baskerville and the beginnings of ‘modern’ printing, through the great fine-press revival of Morris and Bruce Rogers and on to Walter Hamady and other late 20th C book artists, and beyond.


My life in letterpress began in Nichols junior-high-school print shop around 1966, when my family moved to Evanston, and when combined with my love of letters (from my dad's artistic birthday packaging—he put himself through the Chicago Bauhaus in the late 1940s partly as a signwriter for Marshall Field's on State Street) and my exposure to 'data processing' in high-school, it's made for an eclectic if erratic career!


Also my studies in calligraphy and type design from Jenson to Goudy with Professor Zapf, designing my own faces (fonts) with letterpress specific characteristics, as well as digital design experience going back to pre-Mac days in the early 1980s… and long practice in calligraphic design and a National Endowment for the Arts grants for studies in letter carving and calligraphy, and a second for developing my first typeface family, with a letter of recommendation to the NEA from Hermann Zapf.


So, having this equipment at Hamilton will enable me to continue printing from time to time, but more importantly, it will remain a place to call ‘home’ in my printer/typographer's cap, a venue to offer my experience to the next generation of designer/printers, and a partnership with people for whom I have immense respect.


However, post-2008, I have no personal financial resources (zippo, nada, zilch) to put toward saving this facility which has been an anchor, in numerous metaphorical and literal senses, for most of my life. I won't go into the bankruptcy, the countless hours trying to keep the rent paid, etc... but really, my pockets are empty.


While it's not saving the world, saving this shop can become a lasting legacy to those who help to preserve it, and will provide a venue for teaching and an in-house production press for the Museum.




“SlowPrint Letterpress Residency Studio” established at the Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum


11 June 2016

Two Rivers, Wisconsin


Jim Moran, Hamilton’s Executive Director and Peter Fraterdeus, founder of SlowPrint Letterpress Studio (Dubuque, IA) announce today a new residency and research studio, devoted to excellence in letterpress printing, to be established at the renowned Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum in Two Rivers. SlowPrint, now primarily an educational and fine-art printing studio, will be relocated into a 1200 sq ft space made available by the Museum.


“The Museum is very pleased to welcome Peter and SlowPrint Letterpress.” said Moran. "We feel that this will be a highly complementary and symbiotic partnership. We’ll be asking our friends around the world to help support this move through donations to the SlowPrint campaign."


A fundraising campaign [1] is being launched to help pay for the substantial costs of relocation, as well as operating expenses. Donors and patrons are sought to contribute funds for the move itself (estimated at $12-15K), and additional funds for the project management and to purchase the assets owned by a business partner at SlowPrint.


SlowPrint Residency studio will be in this space!

Coming soon to this space at Hamilton, right next to Silver Buckle Press.

The facility, to be called the "SlowPrint Letterpress Residency Studio", will consist substantially of the material assets of Fraterdeus’ small letterpress business, including the 1960s Red Ball Heidelberg Windmill, Vandercook 219 NS, and Miehle V36 as well as various foundry and wood types. 


“We are deeply grateful for the opportunity to become part of this renowned Museum’s wonderful family,” said Fraterdeus, “and to contribute to Hamilton’s auspicious mission of preservation and education.” 


Fraterdeus will teach master classes in letterpress, calligraphy and letterform design at Hamilton, as well as continuing the fine-art and bespoke letterpress printing for which SlowPrint has become known.

The facility will be available by invitation or by rental for qualified printers and artists for short-term projects in keeping with the Museum's missions.

Peter Fraterdeus by Tim Olson (Dubuque)

SlowPrint has been in Dubuque, Iowa since 2008


SlowPrint’s material assets will be acquired by Galena Design Center, Inc (an Illinois not-for-profit corporation), and then placed into the care of the Hamilton Museum. ArtsWisconsin, Inc. will be the fiscal receiver for IRS 501(c)3 status, granting maximum allowable tax benefits for all donations received. [2]


Contributions from designers and artists are also requested. Selected designs will be produced as limited editions over the coming year to be used as perks to reward patrons of the campaign.

A portion of the edition is reserved for the artist. Please contact Peter for info!

A related campaign launched last December in collaboration with renowned calligrapher and type designer Julian Waters was very well received [3]


[1] Funding Campaign: “SlowPrint Residency Studio at Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum!!!”


If you wish to donate via check, please make your check payable to Arts Wisconsin, our fiscal receiver, and send to PO Box 1054, Madison, WI 53701–1054. Please include a note that the donation is for our project – "SlowPrint at Hamilton"

[3] Driftless Book Arts Co-op Sustaining Campaign

Peter Fraterdeus,, 563 223 8231
Founder, SlowPrint Letterpress Studio (Dubuque, IA)
President, Galena Design Center, Inc. (Galena, IL)

Jim Moran,
Executive Director
Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum (Two Rivers WI)