Work Press & The Blend Of Craftsmanship

Work Press & Publication is an independent print and publishing house founded in 2013 by Will Arnold and Tate Foley.

Work Press started because of a mutual interest in small-press, short-run, desktop publishing and Risograph printing. We are interested in creative projects that situate themselves in a mezzanine between fine artist’s books and efficiently produced zines. While a lot of Work Press’s books and prints contain various printing and production processes, Risograph printing is at the heart of our shop.

Mikayla Walton: What inspired you to start this press?

Work Press: Both of us at Work Press (Tate Foley and Will Arnold) have had an interest in fine art printmaking and book making for a long time.  When Tate got a hold of a Risograph duplicator in 2013 is seemed like a tool perfectly situated to embrace the speed and ease of photocopying with the unique handmade aesthetic of traditional printmaking techniques. Making zines and short-run artist books seemed like a natural use for the machine. We started Work Press as an outlet for our individual artistic practices whenever they ventured into the zine and book realm.

Mikayla: What do you think Work Press & Publication brings to the world of small press publications? What do you feel are its unique qualities?

Work Press: Unique is a strong word! We certainly aren’t the only people out there who love to make a good cat zine every now and again. But to answer the question, we try to bring the breadth of our interests and backgrounds to our work. A blend of the craftsmanship and critical depth from the fine art world and the looser, faster, freer modes of making from the zine world. Our book topics span comics, criticism, exploration, research, fine art, and (of course) cats. We may not be the only place that you can find a book about Ed Ruscha next to a book of cats quoting the Fast and the Furious, but I think that may put us in a fairly niche crowd.   

Mikayla: How has this work impacted you personally?

Work Press: The biggest personal impact of making this kind of work has been all the relationships and community that we’ve discovered and formed over the years. Sometimes art-making can involve a lot of isolation and hours alone in the studio. The whole small press and zine world is all about community though! All of the festivals and events, the trading and sharing of work. We’ve made some great friends and met many fantastic artists along the way. 

Mikayla: Is there anything you would like your audience to keep in mind as they view your work?

Work Press: We value user experience a lot – getting books into people’s hands is paramount to our practice.  Not as a way to make money or make a living because thankfully we don’t rely on this to pay the bills. It makes us happy to get these books to people that will enjoy them, and that is the driving force behind a lot of our work. We hope the work makes you think, maybe laugh, and brings some bit of joy to read and explore!

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