Thesis: Claire Sammons

The academic engine that fuels much artistic print production and inquiry hits a fever pitch at this time of year with students at all levels of higher education producing culminate work toward their various degrees. The future of print belongs to these young minds so why not survey what they’re making. For the rest of the month, Printeresting will be sharing a sampling of thesis work from all over the US and beyond in a series called All These Theses.

Claire Sammons earned an MFA in Interdisciplinary Book and Paper Arts from Columbia College Chicago. A statement about the work follows the images.




Arbitrary 1

Arbitrary 2

Arbitrary 3

Arbitrary 4

Arbitrary 5

Arbitrary 6

Arbitrary 7

Arbitrary 8

Thrill 1

Thrill 2

Thrill 3

Thrill 4

Thrill 5

Thrill 6

Thrill 7

Thrill 8

Thrill 9

Thrill 10

Claire Sammons writes…

Project Statement:
Grounded in the Instant, is an interdisciplinary project that combines creative writing, letterpress and digital printing, hand bookbinding, blogging, and video. As primarily a writing experiment, this projectworks to discover how the use of specific yet disparate technologies impacts the poetry I write. Two artist’s books, Arbitrary Wishbone and Thrill Passengers, correspond with the two technologies I am limiting myself to work with as I simultaneously write and typeset. Arbitrary Wishbone is handset and letterpress printed using historic metal and wood printing type. Conversely, Thrill Passengersuses contemporary digital fonts, desktop publishing software, and inkjet printing. These methods of composition show how the physical act of engaging with each technology spur the creative writing process.

Typographically, both books are historical references to traditional nineteenth century type specimen books—commercial catalogs produced by type foundries to display and advertise their typefaces. The language used in these specimen books was spontaneously handset by type compositors—weaving together news, literary quotations, slang, stream-of-consciousness, and poetry to unknowingly create linguistic cultural portraits. In a similar manner, I am also creating a cultural portrait by pulling ambient language from conversations, advertisements, radio, social media, and television. In addition, I am drawing attention to contemporary, non-linear reading practices developing in the face of digital media.

The split screen projection shows me working in the letterpress studio and on my home computer, illustrating how I worked with each technology. Every page of Thrill Passengers can be viewed at

This project is partially supported by a grant from the Albert P. Weisman Award, a private trust affiliated with Columbia College Chicago.

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Categories: Exhibitions

4 Responses to “Thesis: Claire Sammons”

  1. Paul Sammons says:

    Wonderful . . . nice visual selections of what your exhibition looked like, Claire. Glad to have this as a record, too.

  2. Ron Skidmore says:


    I am a friend of your father and he gave me a link to your Thesis site. Your creativity is just stunning; visual and written art created with old and new technologies. It is pleasing to view and provoking to read. You are a gift to the world.

  3. My cousin is a talented lady. 🙂

  4. James says:

    Very creative , I love it