Paper Hammer: Gallery and Goods Galore

Posted on November 16, 2012, 1:43 pm
3 mins


There are few places with as many arms—and possibly legs—in business as Paper Hammer. It can be defined as a “studio shop housed within a book design and publishing company.” The store also sells products and vintage items that integrate with their designs and shows work from artists in an adjoining gallery space. The store is an entertaining spot for retail therapy while the gallery provides a cultural and meditative experience in the heart of downtown Seattle.

The retail portion of Paper Hammer in Downtown Seattle.

Paper Hammer’s attention-grabbing and finely crafted wares showcase printed type as a medium of its own through arrangement, scale, style and color. Items can be humorous, decorative and functional. There is a large selection of cards, posters and notebooks and each are uniquely and beautifully crafted. Paper Hammer is also associated with Marquand Books, a publishing company that prints high-quality books for museums, artists and designers. Most recently, they produced a monograph on artist Jeffry Mitchell’s lifework to the present

Paper Hammer’s gallery space currently features two small but compelling collections. One is “The Seduction of Color: Photographs from the Collection of Robert E. Jackson.” The candid images are aesthetically appealing and well arranged within the space, allowing visitors to meditate on the power of everyday moments—the influence that these subtle moments can have on our lives. Robert E. Jackson, the collector from Seattle who generously shared these works, “is drawn to the creativity and artistic merit of an image as well as its documentation of lived history. Over the course of a decade, he has acquired more than 11,000 snapshots.” The gallery space also features three pieces by Dale Cotton, inspired by Jackson’s collection. These works exhibit the same theme of everyday experiences seen in the works of Jackson’s collection.

The exhibit at Paper Hammer featuring the collection of Robert E. Jackson and pieces by Dale Cotton.

Marquand Books and Paper Hammer published a book in conjunction with the gallery show that further explores Jackson’s collection. The limited editions of the book include an original image from Jackson’s collection. This unique addition speaks to the quality and originality of Marquand Books and Paper Hammer.

For more information on both the gallery space and the store, visit or stop by the store at 1400 Second Avenue at Union Street.

Claire Reiner is a writer, artist and recent graduate from the University of Washington’s School of Art with a major in Art History. She is interested in recent art movements and subcultures (1950s, 60s, 70s) and how they have shaped present perceptions and practices of art. She grew up in Southern California and moved to Seattle in 2010. She is quite influenced by the unique geography of both places and enjoys hiking and exploring the Pacific Northwest. Reiner covers visual art exhibits in Seattle and seeks to contribute to a profound and positive artistic community, as well as encourage people to come out and experience art moments for themselves. Reiner is also the Executive Assistant for VanguardSeattle and handles any press related needs.