David Carruthers opened the Saint-Armand paper-mill in January 1979. He had difficult first years, but started selling and exporting his paper and pushed sales as far and fast as he could. He came from a family associated with paper. His grandfather was the owner the Interlake Paper Mill and his father was a paper salesman with the family firm. The expected diminution of handmade production didn’t happen and the paper mill continues to expand its handmade operation. The Saint-Armand paper-mill is located in Montréal, Canada.
Thomas Parker Williams started to make artist books in 1998. Though his primary body of work is painting, he continues to return to the unique book as another form of expression to try out new concepts and structures. Music informs his work as well and he has used his own original music as a source for paintings and several artist book editions that include music CD’s. Since 1990 he has been exhibiting in Philadelphia, New York, and elsewhere around the United States. Thomas Parker Williams lives and works in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
David Esslemont studied Fine Art at the Central School of Art and Design in London. From 1985 to 1997 he was managing and artistic director of the Gregynog Press in Wales. At Gregynog he designed and printed several prize-winning books. He has lectured widely in the U.K. and U.S.A., and his work can be found in both private and public collections worldwide. His archive to 2005 is held at the University of Iowa. He has been artist-in-residence with the Wordsworth Trust in Grasmere, England, and Minnesota Center for Book Arts in Minneapolis. The Solmentes Press is located in Decorah, Iowa.
We continue our look at the exhibitors of Oak Knoll Fest XVII.
RIT Cary Graphic Arts Press and its co-imprint, RIT Press, are scholarly publishing enterprises at Rochester Institute of Technology. The Press is associated with the Melbert B. Cary, Jr. Graphic Arts Collection, one of the country’s premier libraries on the history and practice of printing. Originally focusing on publishing works in the graphic arts field, the Press has expanded into subjects such as RIT institutional history, deaf studies, business, engineering, and science. The Press issues trade editions for mass-market audiences, limited editions with unique aesthetic standards, as well as gift items. Cary Graphic Arts Press is located in Rochester, New York.
Hand Papermaking magazine was founded in 1986 by Amanda Degener and Michael Durgin. Two issues of the magazine have been published every year since, resulting in a unique repository of information and inspiration on the art and craft of hand papermaking. Articles are written by experts in the field, many of them practitioners, and each magazine includes at least one unique sample of handmade paper. In addition to its award-winning journal and newsletter, Hand Papermaking is known for its distinctive series of portfolios. These exceptional collections of paper art promote the use and enjoyment of handmade paper, by inspiring an appreciation for the art and encouraging an appetite for the aesthetic appeal unique to handmade paper. Hand Papermaking, Inc. is located in Beltsville, Maryland.
The Hesterberg Press was established in 1984 with a move to Evanston, Illinois, after many years spent with R. Hunter Middleton at his Cherryburn Press in Chicago. The work from the Hesterberg Press includes miscellaneous ephemera, keepsakes on Bewick, Hammer and Middleton for the Typocrafters, three books and a film on Bewick, all sharing time with a busy professional life as an Art & Creative Director in Chicago. Hesterberg Press is located in Evanston, Illinois.
In 1973, Warwick Press began as a way to bring words into print that delighted and pleased its proprietor, Carol J. Blinn. What began as a small venture blossomed into a thirty-plus year career. She has issued over fifty books, broadsides and pamphlets covering a wide range of subjects from serious world-class poets to homey ducks having adventures. Her books are widely collected and are in many rare book college and university libraries. Warwick Press is located in Easthampton, Massachusetts.
It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our long time Oak Knoll employee, Jeanette Sikes. Attached is the obituary that appeared in the Wilmington News Journal.
Jeanette was intelligent, hardworking, and managed to keep me in line with her humor and charm on those occasions when I needed it. Many of you either spoke to her or received her emails as she was our first line of contact here at Oak Knoll so you probably can second my feelings. We will miss her.
Bailey and I had a great time representing Oak Knoll at the Ladies of Letterpress Conference last weekend. We learned a lot, admired beautiful examples of printing (and even bought a few!), met some nice people, and ate some great food. It was our first time in Asheville, and we loved the city. We will have to go back when we have more time!
Here are some of the pictures we took at the conference:
Thank you to the Ladies of Letterpress for putting on such a great event. We look forward to seeing you again in October for Oak Knoll Fest!
~ Laura Williams
Our look at the exhibitors of Oak Knoll Fest XVII continues.
The Press of Robert LoMascolo was established by Robert LoMascolo in 2005 while at Wells College in Aurora, New York, majoring in fine art and minoring in the book arts. Currently, Robert is working full time printing, designing, and binding for a varied array of clients. Works from the Press of Robert LoMascolo have been purchased and collected by many individuals, including other book artists. The Press of Robert LoMascolo is located in Union Springs, New York.
Pied Oxen Printers was established by David Sellers in 1981 under the precursor imprint Eleutherian Printers. Their work is primarily focused on contemporary poetry. They design, hand-set, print, and bind each book, while collaborating with an artist in the production of original graphic art. Each book is signed by the poet, artist and printer/binder. Pied Oxen’s titles are in the special collections of a number of institutional and university libraries. Pied Oxen Printers is located in Hopewell, New Jersey.
Harry Reese founded Turkey Press in 1974 when he was a graduate student at Brown University. Turkey Press books are primarily contemporary poetry in a variety of formats and edition sizes, and feature traditional letterpress printing as well as digital imaging techniques. In 1990, they established a second imprint, Edition Reese, to produce artist books in collaboration with other artists, writers and thinkers. The Turkey Press is located in Isla Vista, California.
Established in 1984 by Bob McCamant, Sherwin Beach Press is a small fine press specializing in nonfiction prose. Thus far they have completed seven books. Sherwin Beach Press books have been widely exhibited and are held in libraries all over the world. The Sherwin Beach Press in located in Chicago, Illinois.
Today we welcome guest blogger Oliver B. Pollak.
The Joy of Catalogs
Around 1999 I discovered Oak Knoll Books and my interest in books on books. About the same time Neil Shaver of Yellow Barn Press in Council Bluffs, Iowa, introduced me to the black arts.
I acquired 206 Oak Knoll catalogs in May 1999, subsequently received printed editions by mail to number 292, and more recently online versions. During the summer of 1999 I went through the catalogs containing about 150,000 titles and with pencil and post it and prepared my bucket list. The exercise reminded me of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory which I endured in 1963. The catalogs refined my bookish interests. I started an essay, “A Year of Reading Oak Knoll Catalogs,” (not Provence, Tuscany or Proust), which reached 3,000 words. The essay languished. Four computers later, a transition from WordStar to Word, and an overburdened, imperfectly organized, 120 linear feet filing system, the essay is lost.
My interest in catalogs starts with my uncle in London who sold books out of his London flat from the early 1950s to 1970. Supplementing the copies he gave me with those held by the British Library, I wrote “Eric M. Bonner, Africana Bookseller,” African Research & Documentation (1999). I studied rising prices as the same book appeared again, and the purchase and dispersal of collections.
A July 2, 2012 email from Oak Knoll, “Bookselling is 20% off!,” reminded me of Out of Print & Into Profit: A History of the Rare and Secondhand Book Trade in Britain in the Twentieth Century edited by Giles Mandelbrote (The British Library and Oak Knoll Press, 2006). I retired from teaching this year and have more time to read. I requested it on interlibrary loan from Truman State University Pickler Library in Missouri. I also requested Ernest Fischer, Verleger Buchhândler & Antiquare aus Deutschland under Ősterreich in der Emigration nach 1933 (2011) from the University of California at Santa Cruz on account of my interest in Hans Roger Madol, a peripatetic rare book and manuscript dealer who left Berlin in 1933 and published several books on European royalty, which led to my “The Biography of a Biographer: Hans Roger Madol (1903-1956),” The Germanic Review (2003).
Several essays in Mandelbrote intrigued me. Chris Kohler helped sell my uncle Eric’s British Empire collection in the early 1970s contributed “Making Collections.” Michael Harris, “The London Street Trade” reminded me of the 1885 map of Burma I purchased on Farringdon Road that is currently in a library exhibit, “The Politics of Cookbooks in Burma and Myanmar, 1903-2009,” and more recently my visit to the Camden Market. Finally, and most pertinent here, H.R. Woudhuysen’s essay, “Catalogues.”
A June 2012 Oak Knoll flyer led me to order With Food in Mind by Nicole J. Caruth, a book I thought my spouse and I would enjoy. We were delighted to see A Practical Guide to Light Refreshment (1996) by John DePol and Barbara Henry featured. Neil Shaver and John DePol collaborated on several books.
The Oak Knoll website contains 21 categories in alphabetical order. Bibliography, Book collecting, Book selling, Libraries, Printing History, and Publishing rang my bell. I am intrigued by fore-edge painting, incunabula, signs of ownership (association copies and book plates), use and readership (marginalia), and the organization of knowledge (catalogs), which can be found searching those terms.
Catalogs provide pathways to the structure of knowledge and the keys and ladder to open and ascend it.
-Oliver B. Pollak
The idea that became Lead Graffiti was born while exploring design in London. Over the years, they have acquired a healthy dose of experience and a great collection of presses. The range of Lead Graffiti equipment is ideal for working on projects both large and small, and they have certainly done both, printing books, posters, and various pieces of ephemera. They also maintain an on-site library with books for inspiration and information on letterpress and bookbinding, as well as an active collection of printing samples. Lead Graffiti is located in Newark, Delaware.
Abigail Rorer graduated with a BFA in Printmaking from Rhode Island School of Design in 1971. She established The Lone Oak Press in 1989. Over two decades and two-dozen publications later (not to mention the many commissions), she and the press have received numerous awards. Her works can be found in libraries throughout the world. The Lone Oak Press is located in Petersham, Massachusetts.
Named in honor of its first black cat, Ninja Press was inaugurated in 1984 by Carolee Campbell. Turning her photographic sequences into bound books ushered the way into bookbinding, followed by experimental book structures. Eventually, she expanded her work into letterpress printing. The press’s abiding interest has mainly been contemporary poetry. Ninja Press’s works have been exhibited at numerous libraries and universities, and are collected by many of the world’s great libraries. Ninja Press is located in Sherman Oaks, California.