The APA Goose 2014

It's always a treat to drive up to Hamilton for a visit, especially when it involves seeing our print and type friends from the Amalgamated Printers Association, a group I've been a part of for 10+ years. After cutting school early, Jo and I hit the road. If this shot doesn't ring a bell, maybe this image from a favorite album will hint at our inspiration. Our little fiat is well traveled. hamiltonorbustAfter checking in (and yes, Jo gets a pretty special badge), we found our friend Scott from Moore Wood Type already at it, cutting type and doing demos for onlookers. He also brought a lot of his patterns for people to see so they could learn about the process of pantograph cut wood type.



patterns2Love these star patterns. You can see the 6 pointed Chicago style star (which Scott named 'Jo's star') down in the corner.

patterns3We found our friend Jason of Genghis Kern trying his hand at the pantograph.

jasonpantographAnother workshop about wood engraving was also going on, and everyone there carved into blocks that were ultimately cut as letters for Wayzgoose 2014.

woodengravingFriday I finally got the opportunity to teach a workshop with a longtime friend and talented printer, Jessica Spring of Springtide Press. We worked with our class on two projects: the first was to contribute a page to a meander book and the second was to print type as pattern to then cut and weave. Jessica led the way on the book, setting up the form on press and then demonstrating how to cut and fold the single sheet into a book.


ws2Here are a few of the serious ladies pulling type for the print and paper weaving.

ws7Here's our good friend Erin of Inky Winke trying her hand at a little opaque white ink.

ws5Our prints were a bit wet, but we were able to trim them down to start weaving together. This creates an entirely new kind of print that can be trimmed to a smaller, square size, functioning as a piece of art in its own right.

ws1Mary Alice used a few different sheets of paper for her prints (and some attendees swapped with each other), and ended up with a very patriotic weave.

ws6Rich from P22 (and also responsible for spearheading the digitization of Hamilton's type for the HWTF) was there, showcasing his latest project. Borrowing the Cloister Initial matrices from RIT's Cary Collection, he worked with Greg Walters in Ohio to cast whopping 120 point versions of the beautiful initials. Bringing a set to Hamilton to share, he also printed a broadside with all of them; you can see a snippet of it below with the S and P we came home with.


cloisterFriday night, Greg Walters (who cast the above initials) gave a talk about foreign type specimen books and brought a large selection from his personal collection. Below are just a few shots of the pages I found incredibly inspiring, including these magnificent brass rules printed in multiple colors.

spec1Greg mentioned many trends, including the predominance of art nouveau faces, which all but escaped American type founders. There were also many thick and heavy, multi-color patterns and borders.



spec5After the conference, I realized I didn't get any full shots of the group. Luckily, an APA group photo is always taken, and hopefully we'll see that soon. There's been a sea change in the APA. Can you guess what it is?

husbandcalledBefore checking out for the weekend, we got a little sneak peek at Tom Walker's incredible series of baseball-inspired pennant prints. Incredible and detailed work, with a hand built box to boot.

tomwalkerAs always, we had a great weekend in Two Rivers, and look forward to November when we're back again. And next year the APA Goose will be in Chicago, and it'll be incredible so mark your calendars.

Matching type nerds!


Phoenix Welcomes the Goose

The Amalgamated Printers Association (APA) is one of the great organizations that I've been a part of for the last ten years. It's a group of 150 printers that range from hobby to professional, and issues a monthly 'bundle' of print samples from members in the group. Every year they host a Wayzgoose (a traditional printers gathering) in a different location around the country. This year the Goose was held in Phoenix and I was one of the members asked to speak. The weekend features hands on demos and workshops along with lectures and hospitality (great chance to share printing tips!), as well as a great swap meet, auction and banquet. When there's time, it's possible to visit the shops and studios of members in the group that live in the vicinity. This year's Goose was packed with great events! Clearly, though, the hotel didn't ask any members to contribute signage: privatesignOn Friday, there were a number of great presentations at Letterpress Central, the home of Cindy and Gary Iverson, who kindly opened up their impressive paper and print studio to all APA'ers. One of my favorite lectures was by Kseniya Thomas, the co-founder of Ladies of Letterpress and the owner of Thomas Printers which were the topics of her presentation.

kseniyaSaturday morning is always a highlight because it starts with a big swap meet. This year was fabulous... so much type to choose from, both old and new. Below is a shot of the Letterpress Things table, and some of the type I couldn't get enough of. There's also newly cut wood type from Stan Harris and the beautiful ornaments of Moore Wood Type.



swapmeet1Here are some of the treats I added to the Starshaped collection:



agencygothicAfter the swap meet there's an auction of even more goodies. Had to get a rough shot of Dave Peat at his finest here!

davepeatauctionSaturday evening there was a banquet for all of the members and guests and we were treated to BBQ this year. Here's a shot of our fine organizers wearing the printers caps they made for everyone. From left to right is Jeryl Jones, Mike O'Connor, Cindy and Gary Iverson.

organizersHere are the Bauders, local to Arizona. They ran a print shop together for 33 years and just celebrated their 60th anniversary. Chatting with them was a highlight of the trip.

baudersThis is the venerable Don Black of Don Black Linecasting fame in Toronto. He knows a whole lot about printing equipment, and even more about the Canadiens.

donblackOur guest speaker for the evening was a real treat. John Risseeuw outlined his fine career in printmaking and teaching and brought along a lot of stunning examples of his work and the work of his students.

johnriseeuwThese are a few of the pieces from a series on landmines and their effects on the people who live in their path. Absolutely incredible technique, layering and use of materials, not to mention the social impact of the printed word. Read more about it here.


riseeuwAfter dinner there was more time for socializing in the hotel and more chatting about printing and presses.

hospitality2Here's a motley crew representing many lifetimes of printing and type knowledge!


stickitOne of the lucky things that came together for the weekend was that former Starshaped intern, Claire, who left Chicago for LA, was able to meet up and join in on the fun. Here she is enjoying an animated conversation with Don. You can find her work at Small Press LA and VIA.

clairedonOn Sunday we headed up to Skyline Type Foundry. If you've seen any work that's come out of Starshaped, then you've seen the results of Sky's typecasting adventures. His shop and foundry are the gold standards for organization, layout and quality in production.

skyline1Sky, along with Dave Macmillan, had two casters up and running to show everyone the process of casting metal type. The equipment is meticulously maintained and in great shape, so it goes without saying that the results are stunning. Good hard type in hard to find faces!





skyline2Sky preps the type on galleys by sort so that it can easily be fonted up into classy little boxes and sold.


skyline6There is also a space for the press and type collection.

skyline12Shopping! All of the type options for sale were out for all to see. It was like being a kid in a candy store. So many choices!



There are also lots of fun bits and pieces of type history floating around the shop.



skyline17One of the highlights of the visit for me was picking up a complete set of Sky's newest casting, Arboret in 12 and 24 point along with a set of ornamental pieces to accompany the typeface. This is an incredible face with many options for constructing literal arbors or anything you can imagine. Below is the print Sky created to showcase the type along with the form for printing.



This is one of my favorite shots; two Starshaped Rock Stars in one place! Sky of Skyline Type Foundry and Scott from Moore Wood Type. The enthusiasm of these two along with that of the rest of the crew in Phoenix was really inspiring and breathed new life into forthcoming Starshaped projects. Looking forward to next year's Goose!