The Hammer Poster: From LAP and Steam Whistle Letter Press


We got our first look today at the finished letter press poster carved and hand-printed by Brian Stuparyk at Steam Whistle Letter Press in Newport, Ky. It’s a beauty.

The 13” x 19” poster will go on sale at Woodworking in America in Kansas City, Mo., next weekend. The price will be $20. We don’t have the room in our truck to bring mailing tubes, I’m afraid, but we will be rubber-banding the posters if you like.

We have 500 of them. If we have any left after the show, we’ll put them up in the online store. The price might be a little higher because we’ll have to use special packaging. Details to come.

This is a joint project that Brian and I have been talking about for many months. And after kicking around a few ideas we settled on a poster that embraced the ethos of both of our companies for quality, handmade stuff. And the poster actually has some useful and fun information on it. The art elements of poster were hand-carved by Brian and printed on vintage letter press equipment. I’ve included some photos of that process in a gallery below.


As I loaded the posters into my truck today we started kicking around a few other ideas. Could we do a book together that he printed on letter press? That’s crazy, right?

— Christopher Schwarz

About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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40 Responses to The Hammer Poster: From LAP and Steam Whistle Letter Press

  1. John Switzer says:

    I have always heard this saying with regards to blacksmithing. All arts, crafts and trades require tools. Most cannot make many of their own tools, hammers, draw knives, froes, chisels, axes and plane irons are just some of the things your average woodworker cannot do for themselves. It is the blacksmith, who not only makes most of his own tools but also the tools for other trades as well. Without the blacksmith joiners, carpenters, carvers, tailors, leather workers, sculptors, masons and most other trades would cease to stand for lack of the necessary tools to do their job. But maybe I heard it wrong 😉

    • Its all Team work . Lots of tools need wooden handles to work and carpenters and masons provide the shelter that allows the work to be carried out .

    • kv41 says:

      Well said, John!

    • proclus153 says:

      This observation is the reason Moxon gives for beginning the Mechanick Exercises with the book on blacksmithing. It’s probably also the reason blacksmiths look so smug.

      • John Switzer says:

        I think you mean all blacksmiths look smudged. My wife no longer calls me by name very often. I am simply known around the house as “the grubby blacksmith” 😉

        • John,

          I wasn’t stealing that expression from blacksmiths; perhaps someone else did that. “By Hammer and Hand All Arts do Stand” was a common motto among societies of joiners and makers in the 18th century. I first saw it on a 1791 certificate for the New York Mechanick Society.

          We used the expression on the poster because we adore hammers of all types. We showed a woodworking hammer because that’s what we do – woodworking.

      • John Switzer says:

        If I in any way gave the impression I thought you stole the saying I am truly sorry. I wouldn’t be surprised if originally came from some long forgotten poet or philosopher and then was eagerly taken up by any trade that used a hammer. Before seeing this I had always thought it was referring only to blacksmithing.

        Of course you used a claw hammer, from a woodworking perspective it’s the only way to go.

    • joefromoklahoma says:

      This is the motto of the Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths, first granted a royal charter in 1571 by Queen Elizabeth, and is also part of the chorus of the Company’s song:

      In the good olden days when the gods condescended
      To visit this Earth and enlighten mankind,
      Amongst those who most us poor mortals befriended,
      Still Vulcan, our Patron, the foremost you’ll find;
      When he taught us with Anvil and Hammer to mould
      The Ploughshare, the Spade, and the Sickle to reap,
      Had we paid for such knowledge a mountain of gold,
      The purchase would still to mankind have been cheap.

      To the mem’ry of Vulcan our voices we’ll raise,
      May he and his sons be revered thro’ the land;
      May they thrive root and branch, and enjoy happy days
      For by Hammer and Hand all arts do stand.

      But Kevin’s right; we’re in this together, each and all. Robert Frost sez:

      Men work together,’ I told him from the heart,
      Whether they work together or apart.’

      • John Switzer says:

        Thank you for the additional information. I knew that this was the motto for the Worshipful Company of Blacksmith, but had no idea how far back it might date. Mark Aspery, a member of the company, tells a great story of all of the artists and trades people being presented to the king to tell what their contributions were. The blacksmith was the least boastful, so the king asks each of the others who make their tools, they all reply “why the blacksmith” so the blacksmith was invited to sit beside the king

        But back to the point, Kevin is certainly correct that all artists, crafts people and trades have a role to play and all are needed. My comment was merely addressing the origins of the saying.

    • toolnut says:

      Begs the question, “How did the first blacksmith tool get made?” 🙂

  2. John Switzer says:

    Oh, and I’ll still want a copy of the poster, it’s pretty cool

  3. Brian Clites says:

    Oodles of comments I want to make about the swelling shaft, but they would violate my own ToS. More seriously, thank you, Brian Stuparyk, for your stellar work on this.

  4. Stefan Rusek says:

    I’d love to have one, so I hope they are either not as popular as they look like they will be or that there is a second run.

  5. Dave Reedy says:

    MUST HAVE ONE! (Yes I know I’m shouting.)

  6. Ryan McNabb says:

    I really like the posters and tshirts and other Kerch. I’ve got all the tools. I’ve got all the books. What I want is Doo dads and frippery!

  7. Nemo Delacroix says:

    Note the print-maker’s quoins – very useful around the shop…

  8. Dont suppose you could find someone to print them in the UK ???

  9. jbgcr says:

    No elastic bands – they damage. Roll and wrap a piece of copy paper around and then a little tape to hold. Gets it home safely.

  10. kv41 says:

    Okay, I love the poster, but I also love the nail bin that it appears on. Where did you get the lovely bin pulls?

  11. Yup. Definitely need a copy of this. Hopefully there will be a way for UK customers to acquire one too.

  12. Rachael Boyd says:

    oh and I do love the poster and would love to get one.

  13. calebjamesplanemaker says:

    I know you would come around. I know you would come around. And yes it’s crazy. Crazy cool and of course costly but way cool. >

  14. Josh says:

    An LAP letter press book? Yes, crazy, but mostly just yes!!

  15. leofrancis316 says:

    That’s a fair replacement for the bock pinup poster. Well done.

  16. A Felibien book of plates? Nice 100% linen paper? I remember the Ceniza brothers talking about how they could do it so it would be hard to tell the difference from the originals.

  17. abtuser says:

    The poster awesome. I love the bin too and have already cut sides, top and bottom, but have a ‘volume heavy’ project I’m finishing up before starting anything else (on finishing step – conversion varnish FTW!). I like the poster and placement too, but my luck, they’ll be gone by the time I remember.

    • Brian Clites says:

      abtuser, Did you just start cutting the panels yesterday? If so, you win the #1 most inspired by this post award.
      “To be officially considered for a prize, all you have to do is send us your post written on the back of a $20 bill with your name and address written on it.”

  18. Alvin says:

    How cool would it be if the title page of every new LAP book was done in this fashion. Even if it was just a shrunken copy of a letterpress poster. Plus LAP headquarters could have the neato origonals hanging up. I want, no thats an error, need that poster.

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