Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Farewell to a Gentleman Printer

The Tampa Book Arts Studio mourns the loss of our friend and mentor Leland Hawes, who passed away May 18. He was a lifelong amateur printer and journalist, and one of Florida's finest professional journalists.  He is especially remembered in Tampa for his “History and Heritage” columns in the Tampa Tribune, but friends and colleagues around the country will miss him deeply as one of the leading amateur letterpress printers. He served many years as President of the American Amateur Press Association where he inspired countless others with his passion for a well-told story and a well-set line of type.

He is pictured above in his home printshop last year, shortly before we moved his Chandler and Price platen press, together with many cases of type and a good amount of other printing equipment, to a new home in the Tampa Book Arts Studio. His press was a headliner at the recent Florida Letterpress Wayzgoose held here this spring (see the previous post) and we were pleased to have him with us to celebrate. It was a landmark occasion in the short history of the TBAS. As a founding friend he could appreciate the progress we have made in just five years, having moved from an improvised warehouse location to the refurbished space where we can host events like a Wayzgoose. He played an active part in the life of the Studio, as he helped sort type and spacing, offered advice about the placement of equipment, and pulled some of the first sheets printed here. He will continue to serve as an example of how to share talent and passion in friendship and fellowship. He was a friend, an amateur, and a professional in the fullest and deepest senses of those words.