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Catherine Schrenker—Appalachian Letterpress Krankie: The Devil’s 9 Questions

Lisa Dunseth

Letterpress Cranky: The Devil’s 9 Questions. This is a typographic interpretation of the Texas Gladden ballad: “The Devil’s 9 Questions.”

Fri, Nov. 6 | Catherine Schrenker’s irresistibly-titled talk involved “crankies” (or “krankies”)—either way, I was hooked from the start. Her work in the Burke Print Shop at The Wayne C. Henderson School of Appalachian Arts in Marion, Virginia is where she teaches, paints, and prints. It’s what led her to make crankies. [Read more]

Susan Skarsgard —Keynote Presentation

Lisa Dunseth

Where Today Meets Tomorrow: Eero Saarinen and the General Motors Technical Center by Susan Skarsgard. Princeton Architectural Press, 2019 (James Haefner)

Fri., Nov. 6. | Susan Skarsgard surprised me with her story about designing nameplates and emblems for a big car company—how could working for General Motors be interesting? Her unlikely and mundane beginnings as a hospital ward clerk led her to study calligraphy with Friedrich Neugebauer, who showed her how an artist lived and whose “mystic art of written forms” inspired and changed her. [Read more]

Zoom Event with Bay View National Black Newspaper

Lisa Dunseth

Mary and Willie Ratcliffe, publishers of the Bay View newspaper, review their January edition near their archives on Jan. 10, 2018. (Emma Marie Chiang/Special to S.F. Examiner)

The NorCal Chapter’s plans for an August newspaper printing plant tour were throttled by Covid-19. But then we discovered SF Heritage’s upcoming program and thought, how about a virtual tour? On August 20th, at 6 p.m. (Pacific Time), San Francisco Heritage will present San Francisco Neighborhood Heroines: The San Francisco Bay View’s Mary Ratcliff.   [Read more]

Save The Dox Thrash House in Philadelphia

Lisa Dunseth


Dox Thrash (1893–1965) was a prominent African-American printmaker who lived in Philadelphia from the mid-1920s until his death. His home, a three-story Victorian located at 2340 Cecil B. More Avenue in Sharswood is a Philadelphia landmark but is currently in serious disrepair. The building has been vacant since the 1990s. Thrash studied at the Art Institute of Chicago after his service in World War I and then settled in Philadelphia where he was energized by the local Black artistic community.  [Read more]

Tour: Make Paper at the 2000 Sheets-Per-Day Rate

Lisa Dunseth

Peeling off the sheet. (Lisa Dunseth. More photos on the Northern California Chapter’s Flickr.)

 Wednesday, October 24

Tim Barrett, our esteemed host from the University of Iowa Center For The Book, instructed seventy-seven conference attendees, in seven one-hour sessions, on how to make paper. Although none of us in my tour even came close to the “2,000 sheets-per-day” rate we certainly enjoyed trying.  [Read more]

Tour of Magnolia Editions Fine Art Print Studio

Lisa Dunseth

Magnolia Editions, 2527 Magnolia Street, Oakland CA

Because this year’s conference celebrated both printing and papermaking, there were many possibilities for connections between people with different interests. The trip to Magnolia Editions fine art print studio provided such opportunities. It was a fantastic tour of a spectacular place. Don Farnsworth, the maestro, took center stage, and his fellow artists were delightful guides for the behind-the-scenes tour. [Read more]