Martin Mazorra established Cannonball Press with Mike Houston in 1999 with a specific mission: making inexpensive limited editions, and an observation: every time you leave home in New York to do anything, it will cost at least $20. Their plan: Cannonball would supply paper, board, or linoleum to the artist, who would carve their own block. Mazorra and Houston would print the block and publish an edition of 20 on a 18 x 24 inch sheet. No proofing, one pass, the price: $20. This approach has served well more than 100 artists, who have provided bold, black and white images, often with a social justice message.
Their first projects were printed at community shops, academic facilities, and home studios, before Cannonball moved to 283 North 6th Street (2001–2005), and then to 47 Hall Street (2006–2016). Houston left Cannonball in 2015. Initially working between two shops, Mazorra relocated to Connecticut in 2016, where he remains committed to making limited editions affordable. To promote Cannonball projects, Mazorra also participates in art fairs.
Mazorra taught himself how to make screenprints, woodcuts, and letterpress after getting his master’s degree at American University. From 1996–1999 he was studio assistant to Andrew Mockler at Jungle Press, and Charlie Hewitt helped him further develop his skills. “I have had a great peer group,” he says, and fifteen years of working with Mike Houston provided him with a rich exchange of ideas and processes. –RW