Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A Keepsake for Karen Russell & MFA Students

The Tampa Book Arts Studio welcomed guest writer Karen Russell and MFA residency students on Friday, Jan. 3, 2013, for some hands-on letterpress printing just outside "the swamp.” The quotation used on the keepsake is from Russell’s novel Swamplandia, set in the Florida Everglades, and though the ’glades begins a little further south, Tampa has a claim on swampland, too—which makes us all “swamp people.” 

Participants printed two colors on the keepsake, using two different presses, and also saw a demonstration of how to make decorative paste papers, watched slides and videos about the letterpress era, and shared a variety of refreshments. This is the third time the Book Arts Studio has hosted this event for graduate students in the writing program—with about 90 participants this time around.

Every student was presented with a portfolio to carry their paste paper samples and hand-printed keepsake.

Retired printer Henry Welhe demonstrates the Intertype to MFA student Charles Wheeler and guest writer Karen Russell.

MFA student Cooper Levey-Baker prints his own keepsake with the assistance of UT graduate Alysia Sawchyn, who returned to help with the afternoon of printing.

Guest author Karen Russell signs the Book Arts Studio designed and printed keepsake for MFA student Andi Tomassi.

TBAS Letterpress Coordinator Carl Mario Nudi (center) instructs MFA student Marcia Hodgson on how to set type on the Ludlow Typograph machine as Jim Gustafson, also an MFA student, observes.

TBAS Director and UT English Professor Richard Mathews (left), MFA Director Jeff Parker, and guest writer Karen Russell discuss the hand-printed keepsake given to all MFA students during the event at the Book Arts Studio.

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