The Furnace is a Hartford based print shop, established in 2017 by artist and printmaker, AJ Masthay, along with master printer and illustrator, Kait Lennon.We revel in all forms of ink on paper, but our true love is letterpress. We cherish the craftsmanship of old school printing techniques, as well as quality, hand illustrated designs. This powerful combination allows us to forge dynamic work, from fine art to stationery.
What is letterpress printing?
Letterpress printing evokes a time of craftsmanship and quality. It is a centuries old art form, which is timeless, classic and results in a beautiful, tactile impression. One only needs to run their fingers over a letterpress piece to appreciate its unique, physical characteristics. Using vintage equipment, sheets are hand fed one at a time, where raised type and images are inked and pressed into the surface of the paper under extreme pressure.
Since graduating with a BFA in printmaking from the Hartford Art School in 1997, AJ Masthay has been a driving force in the rock art industry and an emphatic advocate for the printmaking arts. Primarily known for the medium of reduction block printing, also known as “Suicide Prints”, AJ has been mastering letterpress techniques for well over two decades. He has provided art for some of the largest names in Rock & Roll history such as the Grateful Dead, Black Sabbath, Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age and many more. His devotion for ink on paper, and the desire to share this passion with the public, was the driving force that led AJ to establish The Furnace.
Outside of the studio, AJ enjoys time with his wife Kara and two Labrador retrievers (Dexter and Halley) in their West Hartford, CT home. Other interests include treasure hunting at the local flea markets and all things natural history related including an extensive osteology (skull) collection.
Kait Lennon graduated from the Hartford Art School with her BFA in printmaking and has been working in the letterpress world since. Her experience includes designing, illustrating and printing everything from stationery, business cards, wedding invitations to fine art prints. She thrives on detail and creating unique, tactile imagery and is a self proclaimed “color fanatic.” Need proof? Follow our instagram @thefurnaceprints, to see our daily draw downs (color tests) from the studio.
When she not slinging ink, you can find Kait brewing beer with her partner, Dakota, at their home in Downtown, Hartford, along with their cat, Noodle. Other obsessions include tacos, binge watching Arrested Development, dad jokes, botanicals and traveling.