Plugged in and turned on. All paper. All the time.
Many of you reading this know a thing or two about Dard Hunter, I’m sure. For those of you who are meeting him here, Dard Hunter was a craftsman born in 1883, most noted for being a one-man publishing house. He sourced and wrote his own content, designed his own typefaces, set and printed his words on paper he made which he then bound and offered for sale. Much of his work explores handmade papermaking traditions from around the world and in his lifetime he established himself as an authority on the matter. His book, Papermaking: The History and Technique of an Ancient Craft continues as the quintessential reference book (tome) for the field.
The Friends of Dard Hunter (FDH) is an organization formed in 1981 to promote the art and science of hand papermaking in the US and abroad. Two years ago the Friends hosted a conference in Cleveland, collaborating with the Morgan Conservatory and IAPMA (the International Association of Hand Paper Makers and Paper Artists). I was brand new to papermaking but already smitten. Being surrounded by hundreds of paper geeks like myself only intensified my enthusiasm.
The Wednesday through Sunday conference schedule was teeming with options. It started off with the keynote speaker, Nicholas Basbanes who just released his ninth book called On Paper. There were demonstrations in a range of techniques, from watermarks and casting to Korean paper weaving and working with molten encaustic waxes. We attended lectures by artists and researchers, authors and production paper makers. There was a paper fashion show, two rounds of gallery tours, cocktail hours for networking, a trade fair, and a banquet and silent auction on the final night.
I left on Sunday absolutely exhausted but with a new network of skilled and talented paper lovers. I can’t wait for the conference this year. It is another joint effort, this time in San Francisco with The American Printing History Association. The theme is ‘Paper on the Press’ and will focus on the connection between paper and print. October can’t come soon enough!
Have you been to a conference that has jazzed you up? Planning on going to the FDH conference this Fall? Let’s hear about it!