Make pie and give it to the devil

September 20th, 2014

The arcane language of the printshop is very old. This amusing blog post (the blog is called Spitalfields Life) reprints amusing entries from an 1875 manual given to beginning typographers. I learned many of the same terms when I first worked in a print shop in the 1960s.
–Bob McCamant

Codex Australia shuts down

September 8th, 2014

Just received an email from Alan Loney:

Dear Friends

It is with a great deal of sadness that I tell you that Codex Australia Inc is closing down and all its programs and operations will cease by the end of this month.

While this decision has been very difficult to make, we are nevertheless heartened by what we have been able to achieve in such a short time – two published chapbooks, two Bolton Lectures, three Meet the Artist interviews on the website, three visits to Book Artist’s studios, and of course the Codex 2014 Symposium and Book Fair last March. As a direct result of the Book Fair, many Australian book artists met each other for the first time, and several new connections between Australian and international book artists have been forged. We are delighted to know that , whereas only one Australian exhibited at CODEX 2013 in California, there will be at least five exhibiting at CODEX 2015 next February, and this is due to our Codex 2014 Symposium and Book Fair and the presence of several book artists from the United States, New Zealand, Germany, Israel and China.

We wish to thank all of you who supported Codex financially and participated in our programs. We thank Peter Koch and Susan Filter and the Board of the Codex Foundation in California who accepted Codex Australia as an affiliated body from the beginning, and Jorge Alberto Lozoya of Codex Mexico who came to Melbourne and provided us with so much encouragement to “take the plunge”. We also thank all those book artists who came to our 2014 Symposium and exhibited at the Book Fair, and our Sponsors, without whom none of it could have happened.

Whether the work of Codex Australia will be followed up by others, is yet to be known. But we do know that many of those who benefitted from our activities are equally saddened by our decision to close. When one door closes, another opens, so we wait with interest to see what the future will bring.

Very best wishes to you all,
Alan Loney, president

–as received by Bob McCamant

Newberry Tumblrs its treasures

September 2nd, 2014

NewberryTumblrSay you’ve got a lot of great typographic material. Say you have a sedate physical building off a nice park in Chicago. How to get the interest of all those young type folk who would love to see it? Wouldn’t have crossed my mind, but that Paul Gehl doesn’t miss many tricks. He launches Exploring Printing History at the Newberry on Tumblr. I count 15 posts since it started in late July. This is one worth a bookmark.

–Bob McCamant

Attend ‘Landmarks in Printing’–London in November

August 30th, 2014

It appears that there is still space available at the Printing Historical Society’s 50th anniversary conference, to be held in London on November 13 and 14. (I’m going!) Many speakers I’ve heard of, and others I haven’t, on the general topic of “Landmarks in Printing: from origins to the digital age.” Topics begin with “Did Johannes Gutenberg invent the hand mould” and continue through “The making of a printer: the advent of technical education in the printing industry.” See the whole schedule.

–Bob McCamant

Two weekends in San Francisco

August 4th, 2014

On October 16-18, the American Printing History Association is having its annual fall conference in conjunction with the papermakers’ society, Friends of Dard Hunter. It’s called
PoP-logo-color2-150x85Paper on the Press,” and it’s partly at various venues in San Francisco, including the Center for the Book, and partly at Mills College in Oakland. Keynote will be by Kathryn and Howard Clark the legendary Indiana papermakers. The details are here.

Then, on October 24 and 25, the Book Club of California is offering a mini-conference FeastForTheEyescalled “A Feast for the Eyes: Gastronomy & Fine Print Symposium.” Speakers include Anne Willan, Randall Tarpey-Schwed, and Ben Kinmont with a panel discussion by Bill LeBlond, Michael Carabetta, Margo True, and Jenny Wapner and a second panel by Patricia Curtan, David Lance Goines, and Wesley Tanner. And that’s just the first day! For details, look here. Through September 1, it’s $135 for members and $155 for nonmembers.

–Bob McCamant

Once again, Birmingham is the place to be…

June 4th, 2014

…if type is what interests you.

The Baskerville Society has a lettering tour on Saturday, June 7. Book here. The cost is modest. Just under a pound if you’re a member, just over if not.

Looking farther forward, July 1 is the deadline for paper proposals for “The Beauty of letters: text, type and communication in the eighteenth century.” This is the topic of a conference to be held next March. More details are here.

Birmingham is also boosting an event in Oxford: “Worlds of Learning: Education and the Book Trades” will explore all sorts of arcane worlds of publishing come July 22 and 23. Book here.

–Bob McCamant

Another year, another “Ink, Press, Repeat”

June 4th, 2014

InkPressRepeatSince 2001, the University Galleries at William Paterson University has organized an annual juried printmaking exhibition featuring traditional and digital print media and book art. One artist will be selected to have a solo exhibition at the University Galleries. Select works will receive cash prizes.

You can look at the catalog of last year’s winners online to decide if what you do would fit in. It appears to be mainly printmaking, but there is also some sculptural paper and even one item that seems to have pages.

You have time. The deadline is not until July 31. For all the details, look here.

The item pictured above is by Michelle Ray: “To Come Upon a Street,” 2011; Photopolymer images and text; 6 x 5 x 1 inches.

–Bob McCamant

Jan and Crispin Elsted named Robert R. Reid award winners for 2014

June 1st, 2014

149JanKrispinSMThe Alcuin Society announced on May 25 that Jan & Crispin Elsted (Barbarian Press) of Mission, B.C., are the the winners of the seventh Robert R. Reid Award and Medal for lifetime achievement in the book arts in Canada. Barbarian has long been an avid supporter of FPBA, and Crispin served as editor of the North American editions of Parenthesis for many years.

Both are masters of their arts, and have shared their knowledge and experience unstintingly, mentoring many fortunate younger artists. Read more about them, and about the award itself and its previous winners, on the society’s newly-designed web site.

The award will be presented to them in Vancouver, at an event to be announced later this year.

–Bob McCamant

Touring bookbinding show opens May 14

May 7th, 2014

A touring exhibition organised by Designer Bookbinders who have invited their members to bind sheets from private presses on both sides of the Atlantic, many of them FPBA members, of course.

InsideOUT_splash2The resulting exhibition opens at St Bride Library in London on May 14 and runs until August 22. It then moves to the Houghton Library (Cambridge, MA), September 11 to December 13; Minnesota Center for Book Arts, January 10, 2015 to March 28; Bonhams in New York, April 10-19, 2015; and finally San Francisco Center for the Book, June 6 to July 5, 2015.

There’s an illustrated catalog covering both them and the presses involved, which happen to be: Arion Press (USA), Barbarian Press (Canada), Incline Press (UK), The Lone Oak Press (USA), Midnight Paper Sales (USA), Old School Press (UK), Old Stile Press (UK), Shanty Bay Press (Canada), and The Whittington Press (UK).

The official page for the exhibit is here; if you want to buy the catalog without going to the exhibit, it’s for sale here.

Papers sought for 2015 Birmingham type conference

April 30th, 2014

“The Beauty of Letters: text, type and communication in the eighteenth century” is the title of a conference to be held 14-15 March, 2015, in Birmingham, England. Proposals are due on July first of this year. Topics related to writing and printing are expected, of course.

Interestingly, however, performance and portrayal are also possible topics. Their definitions? “Performance: the enactment and communication of text in theatre, music, politics and education through writing and performance of plays, ballad operas, songs and lyrics; the presentation of scripts and musical scores; censorship; theatre programmes; theatre merchandising; speeches; seroms; scientific lectures.” And “Portrayal: the visual representation of text in maps; scientific drawings; architectural drawings; astronomical sketches; political/satirical cartoons; posters, labels; signs and shop-fronts including both architectural and fascia lettering; advertising.”

The Conference organisers, Professor Caroline Archer and Dr Malcolm Dick are inviting contributions from academics, heritage professionals, research students and independent scholars. Send a suggested title, synopsis (200 words) and biography (100 words) via a word attachment to both: and

–Bob McCamant