Russell B. Frost | Letterpress Artist & Designer | b. 1973 (Canada) Raised in the South Island of New Zealand | Education, Bachelor of Landscape Architecture, Lincoln University, NZ,1995
Hooksmith Press is a small Letterpress studio run by Russell Frost. He also runs a well-known, postage-stamp sized retail gallery/shop in Church Lane, Leytonstone.
A self-taught printer; his work appeals to those with an eye for a genuine, hand-printed quality article.
A keen observer with a wry sense of humour, his work mixes typography with nostalgia and witticism, often boldly printed with striking simplicity on vintage printing presses with equipment he has collected from across the globe.
Mixing antique letterpress wood type (some over 180 years old) and advertising graphic blocks of similar age, his work is honest and described by some as masculine.
A collector all of his life, 48-year-old Frost, proudly displays a large weather beaten 1930’s school-map of New Zealand in his home-come-studio in Leytonstone. He won this for a good school assignment at the tender age of 8. With only one other child in his year, he’s quick to point out that maybe it wasn’t necessarily the greatest academic achievement, but marked the beginnings of his collecting, in his then rural and mountainous home of St Arnaud, Nelson Lakes National Park.
After a stint as a professional fly-fishing guide and landscape architect in NZ, he followed his now wife to London where he has been printing and residing with their daughter for nearing on 16 years. He was recently named a Cultural-Star by the borough of Waltham Forest as part of their successful bid for Borough of Culture 2019.
Russell’s highlight of the last year has been sourcing a Victorian woodtype alphabet, made by Caslon. Each letter half a metre tall…watch this space.