Heather asks and answers questions about herself:
Why did you start Burdock & Bramble?
Aside from wanting a good reason to wear an apron for large parts of the day, after four years as a full-time caregiver for my son, I was ready to work my way back to printing, binding, and teaching. Much of the subject matter for Burdock & Bramble books and prints comes from things I saw over those four years during long walks in Cylburn Arboretum and around Baltimore.
What do you love more, making books or printing?
There's nothing better than having a book in front of you that you’ve trimmed, stitched and bound yourself. Unless it's having a stack of 100 beautifully printed, neatly trimmed prints on the work bench, fresh off the press, with the smell of ink in the air. Or better yet an edition of books that you've printed and bound entirely by hand. Whenever possible, I prefer to have the two together, but I'll take one or the other any day over filing phone records for the entire state library system (see Enoch Pratt Free Library below).
What's your background in printing and binding?
My interest in printmaking and bookbinding started with a printmaking course that I took during my first year in college. I grew up in rural Pennsylvania and chose to go to school in Minnesota, thinking that I was getting very far from home. Turns out rural Minnesota is a lot like rural Pennsylvania, just a long, expensive flight away. Adrift in the great midwestern sea, I was lucky to have a professor who taught me to think of the book as both a method of presentation for series of narrative prints as well as an art object in its own right. Since then, I have been anchored to making prints, books, and printed books, and teaching and studying printmaking and book arts, while living in various spots around the country. Here's an accounting of my last fifteen years...
Burdock & Bramble
Owner/Operator, making books, prints & cards—letterpress printed & bound by hand • 2014–present
Unlicensed Domestic Scientist providing countless undocumented hours of cooking, cleaning, transportation services, and child rearing • 2010–present
Head Printer of printed, purchasable political product • 2004–present
Enoch Pratt Free Library
Office Assistant III, thorough and meticulous record keeping • 2009–2010
Roswell Artist in Residence Program
Artist in Residence for a year in the desert with stacks of litho stones, a sewing machine, and one huge black widow spider • 2007–2008
Creative Learning Center Artist in the Schools • 2007
Wells Book Arts Center
Binder in Residence teaching introductory book arts classes in the most lovely book arts building in upstate NY • 2005–2006
Cornell University Dept of Art
Visiting Assistant Professor, Lithography and Large Format Digital Printmaking • 2006
Teaching assistant and MFA grad student • 2004–2006
Women's Studio Workshop
Instructor for Text/Image/Book Workshop • 2007, 2011
Book Arts Fellowship Resident producing one hundred block-printed books • 2004
Artist in Education Instructor assisting fifth graders to make a whole lot of non-toxic zinc etchings • 2004
Minnesota Center for Book Arts
Jerome Book Arts Fellow • 2003
Instructor for family and young adult classes • 2002
Program Associate for K-12 classes = countless accordion books • 2000–2001
Can we see examples of your work?
Sure, here are some projects that I worked on before making grackles and toads full-time for Burdock & Bramble:
Is your work in any collections?
Yes, thanks for asking! You can find my prints and book projects in many library and museum special collections. Here are a few:
The New York Public Library
Vassar College Library
Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY
Yale University, New Haven, CT
Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA
University of Delaware, Newark
Indiana University, Bloomington
Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Carleton College Special Collections, Northfield, MN
University of Colorado at Boulder
University of Iowa, Iowa City
Colorado College Special Collections
Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art, Roswell, NM
Tweed Museum of Art, Duluth, MN
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN
Kohler Art Library, Madison, WI