Finally returned home after a long stay in New York and still very energized and excited from the fair. It is always a treat to see my fellow printers and the work they produce and this show was exceptional with the breadth of fine presses in attendance. There were 43 of us from around the world exhibiting our work for those two days and not nearly enough time to catch up with many of them and meet new people. Representation from the UK, Germany, Canada, Chile, Guatemala and parts in-between all converged on Manhattan for the inaugural NY FPBA show coinciding with Rare Book Week and countless events and exhibits around the city.
The fair started off for many of us with a lovely reception at The Grolier Club for the exhibitors and friends where I had the opportunity to finally meet a great advocate of contemporary fine press, Chris Adamson, who writes the Books and Vines Blog. Chris also arranged a smaller gathering of some of us after the Grolier Club at the home of Mrs. Jeanne Shiff (of the Limited Editions Club.) where Peter Koch and I quickly digressed from books to trout and I had the pleasure to meet David Pascoe of Nawakum Press and Richard Wagener of Mixolydian Editions among others. I had slipped a copy of my Saturnalia in my sport coat pocket and felt a little sheepish giving it to Jeanne as a little thank you token for having us at her home and felt a little uncomfortable at her enthusiasm for it. It seems the LEC never published anything with collagraphs as illustration, just my luck to miss out on a potential opportunity to work with George Macy and Sid Shiff although an opportunity that would have only likely existed before I was born!
The show was well attended, I haven’t talked that much and seen that many people in months and months. A grueling pace for a slacker like me who prefers to work nights and sip coffee ’till noon. I had the fortune to have my table between John Randle of Whittington Press and Walter Bachinski of Shanty Bay Press with good friend Graham Moss of Incline Press nearby as well so I had plenty to digest in moments of spare time as I flipped through copies of John and Rosalind’s publication Matrix, now on #31, gleaning ideas for my own forthcoming journal (No, I haven’t forgotten that one – more to come soon!) and many other very well printed, illustrated and bound books. Fellow printer extraordinaire Russell Maret hosted many of us at his home Sunday evening after the fair for those of us who could still stand and talk and he and his wife Annie were gracious hosts (with very palatable scotch, thank you Russell). My first real taste of the city that evening as I hoofed it home from East 70 something Street down to my lovely accommodations on 1st and A in East Village.
The bookish fun didn’t end there either as I had meetings after the weekend at the New York Public Library where I got to admire yet another copy of the Gutenberg Bible and then on to The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Unfortunately after my meeting at the Met I had only about 20 minutes to explore before the museum closed for the day and all that was readily available was the Byzantine section. I’ll be back. That morning I had walked up 6th Ave and came back down 5th shuffling my way through to the end of a work day for many and the beginning for many more. I found an Orvis Shop on 5th Avenue and was quickly assured by the staff that despite the obvious lack of (live) trout in Manhattan it was the highest grossing retail store in the franchise. Another likely fish story… I ended up loving New York and will return for the next show and any other opportunity that might present. Coming from me it’s a huge personal compliment to a city but New York energy is different somehow and feeds the soul in a different way I suppose.
Once again I’m going to link to the FPBA page here that has a mostly complete list of exhibitors. I’ve had to reference it a few times myself as the reality of NY shifts more into a dream like state. And again I’d like to mention the Books and Vines website where you will likely find many of the above mentioned printer’s books reviewed and accompanied by many photos.
Some pictures of the show and highlights of the trip, I couldn’t get away from the table much during the exhibit so most of these are from during set up time. Also, I wish I had taken more pictures of the beautiful books, broadsides and prints but hopefully some of you might follow the abundant links above and explore them as the makers best show them in this strange interweb we occupy our time with.
Hope to see many again at Oak Knoll Fest XVIII: October 3-5, 2014 in New Castle Delaware this fall.