I wear at least three professional hats: Watchmaker, Letterpress Printer and Tintype Photographer. Plus, there's the fun of restoring the house and barn in Claverack, NY, where I live.
Although these four pursuits might seem very different, I see them as closely related. All involve working with vintage technologies that are analog in nature and unusual in today's digital world. Mid-nineteenth century photography, with large format cameras and chemicals, produces a unique image on a metal plate that you can hold in your hand. Running a letterpress, which drives ink into the surface of fine paper, produces a card with a tactile quality. You an feel the image on the paper. Seeking out vintage pocket watches and repurposing their spring driven movements to power wrist watches in the 21st Century is a joy in itself. That this act produces a machine which will keep time for the owner if that person interacts with it, by winding it daily, is an added bonus. I love figuring out how the 98 year old house and 125 year old barn looked when new and how they were intended to be used originally. I also enjoy the challenge of pushing life backwards to blend with the restored structures.
I started printing letterpress in 2013. We wanted unusual invitations for our wedding and I couldn't find anything I liked, so I bought a small press. My plan was to sell it after the thank you notes went out, but started collecting vintage printing blocks instead and made some Holiday cards to sell that December. They were popular and now I have three presses and hundreds of blocks. Photography was a more formal pursuit. I went to Western Connecticut State University and studied photography. That was before digital really existed, so everything I learned in school would count as "historic" today. As digital came in, I moved away from film photography and back into the 19th Century process of tintype in 2004. This produces an image that is very different from works on paper. I had been working with mechanical clocks for many years when I began studying with a watchmaker in 2008. I bought vintage movements to work on in class because they were less expensive than newly made ones. I began producing watches to sell in 2009 using vintage movements and this re-purposing of these older movements is the basis of my brand.