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The Home Stretch: Building a Wooden Common Press

Seth Gottlieb

The partially constructed Uncommon Press at RIT, soon to be housed at the Cary Graphic Arts Collection.

The partially constructed Uncommon Press at RIT, soon to be housed at the Cary Graphic Arts Collection.

This is the fifth in a series of posts that will appear throughout the year.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that building a wooden common press is a massive undertaking in more ways than one. Literally, a common press is huge, standing over six feet tall and weighing a few hundred pounds. But, it’s everything that goes into actually constructing a press that really adds up.  [Read more]

APHA Conference Undergraduate Presentations

Katherine M. Ruffin

L: Blake's "The Temptation and Fall of Eve," 1808. One of the illustrations in Milton's "Paradise Lost," The Butts Set. (William Blake Archive). R: A composite of three common presses from the early, middle, and late eighteenth century. (Seth Gottlieb)

L: Blake’s “The Temptation and Fall of Eve,” 1808. One of the illustrations in Milton’s “Paradise Lost,” The Butts Set. (William Blake Archive). R: A composite of three common presses from the early, middle, and late eighteenth century. (Seth Gottlieb)

 

4:30-5:30 pm friday, october 7

Illusory Painting: The History of Hidden Fore-Edge Pictures, Isabel Einaudi Cardiff (Mills College, Oakland CA)

False Imprints, New Ways of Reading Work, Emma Studebaker (Mills College, Oakland CA)

The Design Evolution of the Eighteenth-Century English Wooden Common Press, Seth Gottlieb & Veronica Hebbard (Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester NY)

Satanic Knowledge: Milton and the Argument for Unlicensed Printing, Kalie McGuirl (Bard College at Simon’s Rock, Great Barrington MA)

Moderated by Sara Sauers, APHA’s Vice President for Programs, this is the first APHA conference to feature undergraduate paper presentations.  [Read more]

ISO: Ink Color Change

Site Visitor

Via the contact form:

I am trying to determine the mechanism that caused eighteenth and nineteenth century red ink to turn black. Oxidation/sulphorisation? Did it happen in the bottle, in the ink pad, after application to paper or all three? Any help would be appreciated

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Printers’ Devils

Charles Cuykendall Carter

Cover and first page for The Black Art.

Cover and first page for The Black Art printed and published by Goudy’s Camelot Press.

 

11:15 am-12:15 pm  saturday, october 8

Dianne L. Roman: The Devil Wore a Dress ♠  Steve Matteson: Black Art to Blackletter: Frederic Goudy’s First Foray into Print and his Last Word in Type Design

The typeface designer Steve Matteson and Dianne L. Roman, a doctoral student in printing history, gave presentations on printers’ devils both celebrated and unknown. Matteson spoke on the first and final works of typographical superstar Frederic Goudy (1865–1947), Roman on a number of nineteenth-century American women whose contributions to printing have been largely underrepresented by historians.  [Read more]

Signs & Wonders

Ethan Lipton

printersdevices

Esoteric themed devices of Erhardt Ratdolt, Ouroboros Press and Three Hands Press.

 

1:15-2:45 pm  saturday, october 8

William Kiesel: Printers Devices in Esoteric Publishing  Robert Cagna: “Secret” Engraving Marks and Other Mysterious Printing on Postage Stamps   Pamela Barrie: Emblem & Mechanism: George Clymer’s Columbian Press as Neoclassical Hieroglyph

William Kiesel vividly brought his topic to life through several visual examples. He  showed some devices with which many in the audience were familiar dating back to beginning of printing, such as the saddlebags of Fust and Schoeffer and the anchor and dolphin of Aldus Manutius. He discussed some of the early symbolism and common device ideas. Kiesel covered the meaning of several devices through examination and analysis, elaborating on those things that influenced names and symbols and going into some detail. Kiesel shifted the discussion to both the historical and contemporary examples of printer’s devices used in occult and esoteric publications. Kiesel drew the audience in by explaining how these symbols were chosen and their meanings related to the work produced by individual presses. Watermarks in esoteric and occult publishing were also briefly discussed along with the potential impact of new technologies and the relative ease and simplicity of publishing and what a device might disclose about the nature of the kinds of work they produce. Future plans for research and sources of more information were also presented.  [Read more]

Dark Corners

Susie Seefelt Lesieutre

Agrippa’s De Occulta Philosophia Libris Tres

Agrippa’s De Occulta Philosophia Libris Tres

 

1:15-2:45 pm  saturday, october 8

Michaela Rae Ryerson Baca: Blood Book: The Magic of Henry Cornelius Agrippa’s De occulta philosophia libris tres    Todd Samuelson: The Alchemy of Erasure: Book Waste as Evidence Laura Forsberg: Magic & the Miniature Book

Michaela Rae Ryerson Baca, presented findings on her examination of marginalia in a copy of Agrippa’s De Occulta Philosophia Libris Tres (Occult Philosophy in Three Books), believed to have been published with all three texts combined for the first time in 1533. These texts covered the elemental world, physical and celestial objects, mathematics, and the religious and divine.  [Read more]

2016 Conference Plenary Address

Grendl Löfkvist

Alchemists revealing secrets from the Book of Seven Seals, detail of watercolor in The Ripley Scroll, England, ca. 1700. (Getty Research Institute, 950053)

Alchemists revealing secrets from the Book of Seven Seals, detail of watercolor in The Ripley Scroll, England, ca. 1700. (Getty Research Institute, 950053)

 

4:30-5:30 pm  saturday, october 8

David Brafman, Rhiannon Knol, & Marcia Reed: The Art of Alchemy

Carollee Campbell, proprietor of the Ninja Press, introduced the three plenary panelists from the Getty Research Institute. They discussed the exhibition of the Art of Alchemy, which APHA members would be fortunate enough to preview the following day.  [Read more]

Abracadabra

Paul Moxon

The Government Printing Office Division of Testing and Technical Controls Paper Analysis Laboratory, late 1930s. (GPO Photo Collection)

The Government Printing Office Division of Testing and Technical Controls Paper Analysis Laboratory, late 1930s. (GPO Photo Collection)

 

3:15-4:15 pm saturday, october 8

George Barnum & James T. Cameron: Making the Invisible Visible: Wartime Wonders at the U.S. Government Printing Office  
John Risseeuw: Alloy Analysis of Historic Metal Printing Type
   

Both speakers in this session summoned science. But just a dram of detail is divulged now. Mr. Barnum’s talk (Mr. Cameron did not attend) will be posted in full on this website after all the conference events are summarized. Prof. Risseeuw’s investigations are ongoing, therefore the aim is to avoid mischaracterizing his conclusions.  [Read more]

Unfortunate Mystics

George Barnum

Scribe re-lettering a Torah scroll to keep it kosher. (Tom Kilpatrick)

Scribe re-lettering a Torah scroll to keep it kosher. (Tom Kilpatrick)

 

9:30-11:00 am  saturday, october 8

Myra Mossman: Sacred Scribes, Profane Publishers, Unfortunate Mystics ♣  Karen Wahl: Printing Developments in Malleus Malificarum “The Witches’ Hammer” ♣  Grendl Löfkvist: The Devil is in the Details: Conjuring the Spirit of the Book (The Challenges involved in printing a 21st Century Grimoire)
 

This panel featured three presentations that connect the gritty practicalities of the printer’s craft with the mystical effects and outcomes that printed books can enable or engender.  [Read more]

ISO: Tips for European Printing Sites Tour

Site Visitor

I am considering a trip through Europe following the history of printing. My rough itinerary starts in Mainz, continues to Venice, then Amsterdam, and finally London and Oxford. As I say, this is a rough itinerary. If someone from APHA can suggest more specific places, libraries, bookstores, or museums of printing interest, please let me know or point me to the appropriate publication.

Thank you,
Matt Cadorette

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