I woke up this morning at 5 am to make the trip on into Tampa for the one day I had to attend the American Amateur Press Association's 2008 Conference at the University of Tampa. The University itself was worth the visit. Once the "Tampa Bay Hotel", this elabourate turn of the century complex owned by Henry Flagler's "west coast counterpart" Mr. Plant was the staging area for the US Expeditionary Force during the Spanish American War. It became a University in the 1930s. I was reminded of Flagler College, in St. Augustine, which was also an elabourate turn of the century hotel.
I had time during lunch to walk about the campus a little. I have always been interested in historic buildings, especially masonry structures. I'm the guy that gets distracted counting the headers and stretchers on a wall at Colonial Williamsburg (which uses Flemish Bond, btw.)
These are entry doors into the main central building, I did not note the name of the Hall, unfortunately, but these "keyhole" arched doorways are stunning to behold! There are three of these doorways on either side of the central hall, and peppered round about the building itself. I think I spent the whole hour and a half lunch just checking out the architecture.
I couldn't help but notice this little subterrainean establishment. It says Starbucks Coffee on the door, but I have a sneaking suspicion that folks go down there for things other than coffee. No, it was closed. Yeah, I wish it weren't. Vieleicht die nächste Konferenz, gel? Dann kan ich ein' bissel Halb Liter Bier haben, mit lustige Mittagessen. But as it was, we had coffee and tea provided by the University.
The conference registration and lectures were held in the MacDonald Kelce Library. The front displays were utilised by the AAPA. Here is a display of Mike Anderson's 15th century leaves and reproductions using carefully researched type which he cast himself.
This is a closeup of a reproduced page. Mike also makes his own papers. Note the filligree Illumination and the ruminated caps and text. The caps (and I believe the filligree) were executed on photopolymer.
This is another closeup of the MSS display of 15th Century leaves. When this page was printed, Columbus was on his second voyage. (1495)
This was another display, featuring miniature iron handpresses and Kelsey learning booklets. I actually have one myself, which came with one of my 5x7" Excelsior models. My Kelsey collection can be seen at the Florida Pioneer Settlement, Barberville Florida. These presses shown have a print area of about 3x5 or slightly smaller. They are capable of excellent impressions: do not let the small size of a press fool you.
These are Amateur and Private Press Journals from the 19th and very early 20th Centuries. Hmm, sorta reminds me of the "Bundle". These were also on display at the MacDonald Kelce Library, as well as some other century old Ephemera and AAPA bundle inclusions over the years.
The Lectures were given on the second floor of the Library. It was a great time to meet the other folks and learn some very interesting things. The concentration of the lectures today was letterpress, historic recreation and research. In fact, Mike, who gave one of the lectures, was first approached by the BBC for a Gutenberg form for their miniseries "The Machine that Made Us" but referred them to another founder, because what they wanted, whether the BBC folks knew it or not, was a B-42, forty-two line form, and what Mike had on hand was B36 (thirty-six line, Donatus Kalender.) He reflected that very few would have actually known the difference, but why be innaccurate? Man after my own heart! As it is, the BBC secured what was needed in the end. Hmm, come to think of it, before I sat in on Mike's talk, I wouldn't have known the difference, either!
After lunch we took on over to the Book Arts Studio on the Campus. Here, we spent the rest of the day.
And here we are gathering inside the Studio / Shop. This facility produces books, announcements, and all sorts of Ephemera. It is tied into, IIRC, the English/ Literature dept. The University has no Book Arts cirriculum per se, but does publish in association thereof. Included in their list of publications is the book "I Lived in Paradise", of local pioneer story.
The University's Hoe & Co., which is on loan. I finally got my chance to do what I always wanted, one of which was to pull an impression from one of these Iron Horses. This particular press dates to 1848. What is hard to belive is that these presses were being manufactured as late as 1917, although manufacture varied quite a bit. There is a print shop in DeLeon springs that has a Washington under wrapps in a storage room! Amazing where these Iron Horses turn up.
This is another, I believe slightly newer Hoe & Co. press. It's under rehab at the moment, but it seems pretty close to operational. The only think I could tell was the linen pulleys under the bed needed to be replaced by leather, as the other Washington had done.
We printed Mike Anderson's recreation of the Calixtus Bull, using the same Donatus Kalender type which he researched and resurrected for the B36 Bible. This particular piece is 19 lines.
These are various shots of pulling prints from the Washington. The fella with the beard and glassis is Prof. Richard Matthews, the director of the University Press and the College's point man for the Convention.
This is all I have time to post. I have a few more photos which I will upload later.
-G. Johanson, Settlement Printer.