Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Paul Moxon Leads a Tampa Celebration of the Vandercook Press Centennial

Paul Moxon conducted a day-long workshop for eight participants, and a half-dozen friends of TBAS, on Saturday, February 28. The attendees were Denise Bookwalter, Lee Harrer, Sara Mantle, Megan Mitchell, Anne Stagg, Hal Sterne, Cat Thompson, and Jonathan Vaughan, along with Don Black, Sean Donnelly, Richard Mathews, Carl Nudi, Bob Turner, and Henry Wehle. The morning began with an introductory session at the studio, followed by Paul's presentation on the history of the Vandercook at the Macdonald-Kelce Library, and then an afternoon of printing back at the studio.

A Visit with Hal Sterne

Several friends of the TBAS made a pilgrimage earlier this year to visit Harold "Hal" Sterne. Hal has a long history in the printing industry, starting with a high school course in letterpress printing. The 1978 first edition of his Catalogue of Nineteenth Century Printing Presses was a valuable and pioneering resource; it was reissued in an expanded edition in 2001 from Oak Knoll Press and The British Library. 

Another influential contribution to letterpress printing occurred when Hal and a partner bought and preserved the name and assets of the famed Vandercook Press/Vandersons Company, and later the Kelsey Company, eventually passing the torch to Fritz Klinke and his NA Graphics. Though retired now, Hal maintains a comfortably crowded letterpress studio in a Bohemian setting near downtown Sarasota. He met Richard Mathews, Sean Donnelly, Carl Nudi, and Leland Hawes there on January 22, 2009, to give a tour and talk shop. One of the highlights, in the second photo below, is Hal's own Vandercook SP15 Press, which he once sold, only to find that it made its way safely home to his shop eventually, like "the cat that came back"!