The idea to make a print came from a love for two specific hatch covers in downtown Seattle in the early 2000s. They are part of a city program that started in 1975 in which artists have been commissioned to design specific covers - and they are amazing! Anne Knight and Nancy Blum inspired me to look down, make tangible art, and find a path of my own.
Storm Print City has taken me from Seattle to Maine, New Orleans to Chicago, and back to the west coast. I've learned a ton about our country's infrastructure, made many many prints, and made some great new friends. It's been about history, sharing stories, exploration, and new experiences. There are many terms for these chunks of iron: manhole covers, sewer lids, pit lids, hatch covers, and so on.
Years ago, I started to use the term "street printing" as hashtags in social media and a way to quickly describe my project. Since then, the concept and the term have spread around the world becoming a widely-used description and a trending craft. The actual process of making a print is as simple as it gets. Anyone can pick up a roller, throw some ink on a piece of metal, and press something onto it.
It's been super cool to see it all take shape. My mission from the beginning has always been to inspire people to explore, create, and look at their surroundings in a different light. I absolutely love seeing others artists creating prints and encourage you to go out and give it a try. If you do, please write!
The emails from strangers around the globe are usually more fulfilling than the actual prints.
Here's an examples of how a simple idea can spark a smile, fire, or maybe a movement.
"I'm a reading teacher in Mt. Prospect, IL, 40 minutes north of Chicago. I saw your artwork at the Ravenswood Art Festival and serendipitously saw a Newsela article about you the next day! My students read the article, made a manhole print on the playground and then wrote about it. I've attached a short video, similar to one of yours we saw on YouTube, along with my 2 students reading their papers. We hope you like it!"