Skip to the good stuff!


2014 Conference: Paper on the Press articles:

Paper in Artists’ Books I: The Long & Short Views

Sara T. Sauers

10.18.2014. Session I, Panel 3. “The Secret of the Art: Ten Short Stories,” presented by Sandra Liddell Reese ¶ “Beyond Substrate: Handmade Paper as Environment for Letterpress Printing,” presented by Leslie Smith.

Spread from Hortus Conclusus a bilingual artist’s book by Leslie Smith.

This panel featured two book artists intent on having paper play a role in enhancing the meaning of their printed work. [Read more]

Nineteenth-Century Paper II: Networks

Charles Cuykendall Carter

10.18.14. Session II. Panel 2.  “The Geographies of Paper and Printing,” presented by Laura Sorvetti and Russ White.
Paper, Print & Publishing, Book Binding Establishments, 1880. (Russ White)

Paper, Print & Publishing, Book Binding Establishments, 1880. (Russ White)

A new digital humanities project from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo could potentially offer deeper understandings of the history of printing, publishing and the allied trades. Through the use of digital mapping tools, users can manipulate data to analyze historical changes in the manufacturing, distribution, sales and consumption of paper and printed material. [Read more]

Paper for Pedagogy

Jessica Holada

Session IV, Panel 3. “Printing and Papermaking in the Ivory Tower: Carl Purington Rollins and the Origins of the Bibliographic Press Movement in America,” presented by Katherine M. Ruffin ¶ “Through the Lens of Paper: Using the Medium’s Cultural Significance to Introduce Freshmen to Higher Education Concepts,” presented by Jae Jennifer Rossman.

Carl P. Rollins, Printer to Yale University from 1920–1948, founded the Bibliographical Press in the Yale University Library in 1927. Rollins taught a course titled “Eighteenth-Century Printing Office Practice” at the press in order to provide graduate students, librarians, and faculty members hands-on experience with typesetting and printing on the hand press. In addition, Rollins taught his students how to make paper by hand. The handwriting is by Rollins. (Courtesy of the Carl Purington Rollins Papers, Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library, Yale University)

I always hope that APHA conference sessions will reveal not just the ‘what’ and ‘how,’ but the ‘why’ of printing history and the allied arts, moving conversations beyond technical applications alone—always a deep well for practitioners—into the realms of significance. [Read more]

Paper Trails

Paul Romaine

Session IV, Panel 4. “Valley of Venetian Ties: Historic Paper Mills and Printers of Toscolano Maderno,” presented by Megan Singleton ¶ “Much to Do with Little: Paper and Book Making at Aba House, Nungua, Ghana,” presented by Kathy Wosika.

Megan Singleton spoke about her 2011 visit to the ruins of a former hand papermaking district in Lombardy called the Valley of the Paper Makers. Proportedly established in 1384 in the mountains above the villages of Tuscolano and Maderno on Lake Garda, most of the mill sites date to the sixteenth century when the area was abandoned due to the plague. However in the late seventeenth century it came to be re-occupied and by 1730 thirty-eight mills were reopened. [Read more]

Early Renaissance Paper

Paul Romaine

Session I. Panel 1. “Into the Fold: Understanding Albrecht Dürer’s Meisterstiche Papers,” presented by Angela Campbell ¶ “Fifteenth-Century Papermakers and Printers: Negotiations and Innovations,” presented by Timothy Barrett.

Left: Albrecht Dürer, St. Jerome in His Study, 1514 [MMA. 19.73.68]; verso; and x-ray. (Angela Campbell)

Angela CampbellAssistant Conservator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, spoke about the paper production story behind Dürer’s Meisterstiche (“master engravings”) which include: Knight, Death, and the DevilMelencolia I; and St. Jerome in His Study. Durer’s Meisterstiche represented an unusual opportunity for study because of past scholarship on the three works and because the Metropolitan Museum holds six impressions of Knight, Death, and the Devil, as well as four impressions of Melencolia I and four impressions of St. Jerome in His Study, each with slight inconsistencies. Art historian Joseph Meder’s chronology of Dürer’s impressions divided Melencolia into two states, the first state in which the number “9” appeared backwards in the background and the second in which it is printed correctly. In addition, many of the surviving Meisterstiche impressions had a distinguishing horizontal crease on their versos, which she thought which might be part of the history of the production of the prints. [Read more]

Investigations in Recycled Papermaking

Val Lucas

Session III, Panel 1.  “Recreating Japanese Book Cover Papers from the Edo Period,” presented by Anne Covell and Kazuko Hioki.

Left: a page of . Every page has illustrations surrounded by texts. Right: book cover exhibiting burnished design. (Val Lucas)

Kazuko Hioki and Anne Covell’s presentation took us from the Edo period in Japan (1603–1868) to the present day at the University of Iowa’s Center for the Book. Kazuko displayed examples of Japanese books, which were mostly side-sewn folded sheets printed from finely carved woodblocks. Some had embossed and decorated covers created from layers of recycled and dyed paper. [Read more]

Twentieth-Century Paper in Circulation

Elizabeth Haven Hawley

Session IV, Panel 1. “Print paper ought to be as free as the air and water”: American Newspapers, Canadian Newsprint, and the Payne-Aldrich Tariff, 1909–1913,” presented by Geoffrey Little ¶ “Forest/ Trees/Paper /Documents: Proposals for Papermaking at the U.S. Government Printing Office,” presented by George Barnum.

Paper mill in Kapuskasing, Ontario, n.d. Library and Archives Canada.

This session brought together the serendipitous pairing of Geoffrey Little and George Barnum for a panel titled Twentieth-Century Paper in Circulation. Paper played a key role in debates over U.S. tariffs and the growth of the U.S. Government Printing Office (US GPO). Papermaking thus became an important point of engagement for working out tensions between robust cultural discourse, government publication and commercial opportunities for profit. The two well-researched presentations highlighted how manufacturers, politicians and government officials negotiated the meaning of papermaking in a capitalist republic with an increasingly strong central government. [Read more]

When the Paper is the Poem

Jessica Holada

Karla triple mould

Karla Elling makes sustainable keepsake paper from Hesperaloe funifera fiber at the Mummy Mountain Press studio in Paradise Valley, Arizona. (Wendy Burk)

Session II, Panel 2. “Contemporary Hand Papermaking and Letterpress at Mummy Mountain Press,” presented by Wendy Burk and Karla Elling and “Experiments with Paper & Print at Paperhouse Studio,” presented by Flora Shum and Emily Cook.

Before the conference, I had the chance to see a broadside of remarkable translucency by Karla Elling of Mummy Mountain Press. The poem was by W.S. Merwin and simply titled “Paper.” Printed in white ink on white Japanese kozo paper, the broadside was designed for hanging in a window, encouraging light to shine though the sheet and Merwin’s words. The objective was not to provide easy readability or frameablity, but a close, simultaneous reading of text and fiber. The paper was arguably the poem, and vice versa, just as this panel set out to explore. [Read more]

Nineteenth-Century Paper I: Paper Objects

Amelia Hugill-Fontanel


Bank of England Five Pound Note, January 1, 1855. (Richard Kelly)

Session I, Panel 2. “The Anatomy of a Banknote: 1855 Innovations in Design, Papermaking, and Printing,” presented by Richard Kelly and “Calendered Paper, Electrotyping, Hard-Packing and Late Nineteenth-Century “Fancy Type Faces,” presented by Michael Knies. [Read more]

Paper in Artists’ Books II: Reflections

Nina Schneider

Session III, Panel 3.  “The Conversation Between Paper and Printing in Contemporary Artists’ Books,” presented by Inge Bruggeman ¶ “Material of the Margins: Handmade Paper in Artist’ Books,” presented by Tatiana Ginsberg ¶ “Size Matters,” presented by Kitty Maryatt.

One of a Thousand Fires, 2006. Poems by Cissy Ross, book design, images, printing and binding by Inge Bruggeman.

Inge Bruggeman‘s talk began by focusing on the relationship between ink on paper and questioned our culture’s confidence in its permanence in our environment. Given advances in technology and the ways in which we interact and communicate, she asked how long will paper and text last? Will it stay forever? The printed page can be seen now as a nostalgic place to hold ideas. Paper and printing are being pushed towards objectification and art rather than everyday events and objects. What is the relevance of paper in general and the relevance of paper in artists’ books? There are still elements of culturally relevant paper, such as a receipt roll from a grocery store, as well as ramifications of shifting away from paper based environments. Inge noted her concern about the future of the archive. Will there be an impact on the scholarly record when studying or doing research from disc or flash drives? [Read more]