We had the good fortune of connecting with Nancy Hill and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nancy, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
The was a serious lack of thought process. My friend and I had 60 hr a week jobs but we loved paper and typography – so we wanted to buy a little tabletop press. I checked out Craigslist and, instead, found a letterpress shop in Apache Junction for sale. We bought it. Just one press and a lot of other equipment and type. Over the years I have discovered that letterpress printing is a disease – as I now have 6 printing presses and even more type. I have moved it all 3 times and have no plans to move it again. Grand Avenue is the best place to be.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Hazel & Violet is a traditional letterpress print shop. Letterpress is old-fashioned “relief” printing, a process by which multiple copies are produced by repeated direct impression of an inked, raised surface against sheets. At Hazel & Violet we handset metal and wood type to create a variety of paper ephemera, including invitations, coasters, cards, calendars, and posters. The work is exacting, tactile, and beautiful. Each piece is unique. Unlike modern digital printing, letterpress is printing you can feel. I began my printing adventure approximately 15 years ago and over time have been able to create a vibrant shop filled with a wide array of metal and wooden typefaces, unique decorative “cuts,” colorful inks, and classic proof and platen presses. We have walls full of our work and the work of some of the best printers in the world. What we love best is introducing folks to letterpress printing. We offer workshops with no experience necessary… it is a lot of fun to introduce people to this type of printing. Everyone gets to leave with posters or cards that they have printed by hand – it doesn’t get much better than that.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
> downtown Mural Tour > Phoenix Art and the Heard Museums > a little walk along the Rio Salado > the MIM eating out at: > Postinos, Hillstone, Ocotillo, Gallo Blanco, The Henry…
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
> The Downtown Phoenix Art Community for their support over the past 12 years. > Beatrice Moore and the Grand Avenue folks for caring and being a bit weird.
Yelp: Hazel & Violet