Get To Know: Jim Sherraden


I’ve had a crush on Jim Sherraden since first meeting him almost ten years ago. It may have been his easygoing manner or how he could skillfully crank out the storied posters that peppered my walls. It was almost definitely the soft brown leather cowboy boots he was wearing. I remember staring at them while he scribbled his name along with stars and hearts and fireworks into the book I bought.

I remembered that he was in Nashville while I planned my trip last month and I also knew he was making new art. Something I had to see. Because it’s something like I’ve never seen before. So I emailed him, and folks, dang it all if the man didn’t email me back. Within a few weeks, I found myself in the passenger’s seat of his truck headed to Watertown, Tennessee where he has his studio. In truth, where every artist I know should have a studio. It’s a small town that’s about to become something extraordinary, so you heard it here first…well, second, since Jim’s become sort of an ambassador of the place.

His new art is really special. He prints his own designs from hand-carved blocks, then water colors the paper and cuts it into traditional or non-traditional patterns. Marked out and placed together the patterns become paper quilts. Quilts that are so perfectly imperfect it’s hard to capture them in photos.

I hope Jim won’t mind my pasting this here without editing it because I love the way he sends emails. It’s endearing and delightful to get messages from him and his easy manner comes through each line. Here’s your chance to get to know Jim Sherraden, working artist, master printer, paper quilter, and man about [Water]town.

motto: preservation through production... I coined that for hatch but it works also for me personally

childhood...the scissors in the telephone drawer

recent acq...a table top fluorescent light from the 70' i can see the detail when watercoloring

current obs...well, sheepishly, it's actually LOOKING, and paying attention at all those Instagram posts from people i'm following. i'm new to this instybizness. i'm sure soon i'll just say 'ta hell with it'...

favorite hobby....see above

always on me...a vintage watch, most of the time from Hamilton watch co, Lancaster, pa

fav rest....well Katie's pizza place round the corner of course

fav museum...two of them, the keramic museum and the fries museum, both in Leeuwarden, friesland

best gift ever received....another way of asking this would be "best gift ever accepted"... and my answer would be, "my health".

most inspiring...cannery row by john Steinbeck. or susan diedre's biography of Samuel beckett

top of the to do...always attempt to be of service

most love about watertown...proximity of all essentials. everything is a slipper job, so close I can just wear house slippers to get there..

best thing about what....making the art makes me focus

favorite drink and what's in the fridge are the same answer...fruit flavored G2 gatorade

on nightstand...1.50 strength reading glasses

a film...."the heart is a lonely hunter"....the high school English teacher showed it during class, in high school...start with the lyrical nature of the title...

a film that you think defines amer. culture...Robocop the original. only the original.

Want to get in touch with Jim? You can find his website here. He is actually new to Instagram, but follow him for an inside look.

Watertown, Tennessee is pretty cool. If I had a little extra cash, that corner building on Main Street would be where Townie Tourist would have a Tennessee office.

Jenny De Witt is the Townie Tourist, serving up the diverse art, culture, and craft of Orlando and Central Florida. Life here is so much more than the Mouse. Tune in to watch LIVE on Facebook, Saturday mornings at 10 AM EST.

Interested in collaboration? Have an event you want us to cover? Get in touch.

St. Printersburg Rocked!

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I headed up to St. Pete for the first St. Printersburg event. This gathering of printers and type-makers was one for the books. Calusa Commons is a great little cove of goodness in an alley of sunny St. Pete’s Grand Central District that offered a chance to wander and learn more about varying printing methods. Dog and kid friendly, there were hands-on demos and sample printing of all kinds to get people inky and involved with this heritage handicraft.

Got a chance to see a demo of steamroller printing and wandered through making new friends.

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Later on, I headed over to the Museum of Fine Arts St. Pete to watch a screening of Pressing On: The Letterpress Film. What a movie! Beautifully crafted documentary about the survival of letterpress and the remarkable printers who preserve the history and knowledge of the craft. Got a chance to meet co-director Erin Beckloff and ask her a few questions about process and funding. (Can’t wait to share more from her on Townie Tourist later this Spring!)

Check out a walkthrough of the event here 👇👇

Want more info? Be sure to follow Print St. Pete Community Letterpress or St. Printersburg. Hope to see you there next year!