The biennial Oxford Fine Press Book Fair is a must-see exhibition of fine press books from around the world. Over sixty presses from the UK, France, The Netherlands, Germany, Russia, USA, Canada, exhibit their work plus specialist book dealers and trade stands make this a not-to-be-missed weekend.
This year’s programme of lectures included Ian Rogerson discussing developments on printing colour up to 1939, Peter Lawrence and Simon Brett reflecting on the 25th anniversary of the re-foundation of the Society of Wood Engravers), Jeremy Greenwood talked about the wood-engravings of Eric Ravilious, and Nicholas and Mary Parry discussed their work at the Tern Press.
Among the many highlights of this year’s Oxford Fine Press Book Fair were the Judges Choice Awards for best books in show and the Gregynog Prize for the finest letterpress book.
The judges for the Judges Choice Awards were Jerry Cinamon, Dennis Hall, and Sebastian Carter, and the five awards went to the following presses (listed in alphabetical order:
- Circle Press for The Burning of the Books, with Ron King’s wonderful gravure prints
- Russell Maret’s amazing tour de force of letterpress colour work, Aethelwold, Etc
- Parvenu Press for Carolyn Trant’s haunting take on the fairy story, And other Fairy Tales
- Shirley Sharoff for her extraordinary book construction The Waves
- Whittington Press for Portmeirion, in which Leslie Gerry’s digital prints show how electronic printing can become an autograph medium.
Here’s a few photos of the Judges Choice winners:
Visitors visibly impressed with Russel Maret’s letterpress tour de force Aethelwold, Etc.
Carolyn Trant’s And other Fairy Tales (Parvenu Press).
Leslie Gerry and his vivid Portmeilion (Whittington Press). Each press received a certificate specially inscribed by the calligrapher Andy Moore.
The Gregynog Prize was awards to Abigail Rorer of the Lone Oak Press (shown above with Leonard Seastone) for her Mimpish Squinnies, a collection of colour wood engravings showing unusual botanical specimens. The judges were David Butcher, Gaylord Schanilec, and David Vickers. Abigial received a prize of £500.
Thanks to Sebastian Carter and Martyn Ould for notes on the prizes. A full report of the 2009 Oxford Fine Press Book Fair will appear in the Spring 2010 issue of Parenthesis. To become a member of the Fine Press Book Association and receive a subscription to Parenthesis, click here.
— Paul Razzell