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1992-2012: Celebrating 20 years, one page at a time!
Letterpress Printing | Bookbinding | Artists' Books | Fine Press Books | Fine Art Prints
The mission of Indulgence Press is to integrate form and content through the production of high quality art and craft while exploring and expanding on the history of the book.
Located in the Traffic Zone Center for Visual Art Cooperative
Proprietor Wilber H. "Chip" Schilling is the artist, designer, printer, illustrator, bookbinder and publisher at Indulgence Press. He often works in collaboration with other artists and writers.
To achieve the rich aesthetic quality found in his work Schilling primarily uses a hand-fed Vandercook SP20 cylinder letterpress. He uses other printing methods as needed, for example: the gum bichromate alternative photographic printing process is used for creating the Decayed Volumes series. Schilling began his career as a photographer and photography continues to play a key role in his work.
Schilling earned a bachelor degree in history and photography from Clark University (Worchester, MA) and a terminal, master of fine arts, degree in printmaking and book arts from The University of the Arts (Philadelphia, PA). He teaches letterpress printing and bookbinding throughout the United States. His books and art works have been exhibited internationally and can be found in over 100 collections including the New York Public Library, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the Getty Center, the British Library, Auckland Central City Library, the Whitney Museum and the Library of Congress. Schilling is recipient of the 2010 Minnesota Book Artist of the Year Award. In 2012, he accepted a one-year lectureship at Columbia College, Chicago.
Portrait by Marc Norberg
Does the name "Indulgence Press" make sense? While working at the Library Company of Philadelphia, Schilling was inspired by the work of Johann Gutenberg, the first printer to use movable type. Gutenberg's first works were Indulgences (circa 1452) commissioned by the papist church and sold to absolve the purchaser of doing penance for sins. Gutenberg used the proceeds from printing Indulgences to fund his iconic 42-line Bible.
In this increasingly digital age, a carefully handmade, inspiringly designed and richly tactile book is a rare beauty. For example, the Indulgence Press edition of Melville’s Bartleby the Scrivener is beautifully printed and bound, featuring a structure and illustrations that enhance the story. Reading Schilling's "Bartleby" is a luxurious treat. Isn't that the contemporary definition of indulgence?
"Indulgence" has multiple conceptual and historical meanings, there's a twist and a cleverness to it — perfect for this maker of fine press artists' books.