Franklin Countys First News

Words on Words: Tom Jessen and Foxglove Press

Tom Jessen

At DDG we're always on the lookout for exceptional work by local artists and artisans in the book related arena. We were particularly excited to learn that local artist and letter press bookmaker Tom Jessen (Tom has a big show coming up at the Emery Arts Center in March) has produced cards under the Foxglove Press imprint. His handmade letter press cards are just exquisite. Some feature a a very unusual handmade box with the card design feature printed as the cover. Indeed to see a Foxglove press card is to yearn to know more about them, hence we caught up with their creator.

Kenny Brechner: So Tom, these letter press cards are really beautiful, has one of your cards ever saved or substantially improved someone's life?

Tom Jessen: I'm sure they have. I never know how though. That's the problem.

Kenny: Ah yes, I have that problem too, though i'm not sure how. Hmmn.. Do you have a personal favorite design?

Tom: When I made the boxes, that was a fun breakthrough! .

Kenny: I love the boxes! Now I know you do various kinds of related design work, letter press books, and artwork, do these different veins emanate from one source?

Tom: They do but its not very obvious in some ways. There has to be a core aesthetic where your coming from. For example the cards are all images and the artwork is all non representational or image-less. At the same time I think esthetically you don't really think of as an image but more as something that is an abstraction.

Kenny: Thanks Tom.

Tom: I'm really happy to have a showplace for them right in town.

Tom Jessen's work will be on exhibit throughout the Emery Community Arts Center from Feb. 16 until March 23. There will be a reception on March 1 from 5 p.m. until 7:30 p.m.

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