Last Thursday we got on a plane bound for San Francisco, CA for the first time. Though we have several friends in the Bay Area, limited time and money have kept us from heading down to visit. This was a business related trip to attend the 2014 Joint Annual Conference of The American Printing History Association and The Friends of Dard Hunter, called Paper on the Press. We were able to attend the conference as scholarship recipients, so we only had to fund our travel and accommodations. Luckily some dear friends were able to put us up at their home in Oakland, and our dear parents were able to sponsor our airfare.
We hit the ground running on Thurs. evening attending a reception, tour and keynote speech at the Internet Archive. If you haven't heard of this non-profit you should definitely check them out as they have FREE, fascinating and helpful research tools. They are building a digital library and other cultural artifacts, such as TV news programs, in digital forms. After we had a wonderful guided tour from the Director of the Television Archive, Roger MacDonald, we heard the conference keynote speech from the founders of Twinrocker, Kathryn and Howard Clark. Their slide presentation detailing their beginnings in San Francisco and on to the founding of their studio in Indiana was inspirational. They ended their talk with one of Kathryn's favorite quotes, "You can't fail if you don't quit." What excellent and truthful advice! The following gallery of photos is from our evening at the Internet Archive.
On Friday we joined up with fellow conference goers for a tour of Magnolia Editions in Oakland. The charismatic and knowledgeable Donald Farnsworth took us through a whirlwind tour of woodblock prints being made with Ed Hardy, a huge subway tile installation made in collaboration with Chuck Close, a 3D printing demo. of an historic watermark recreated in plastic, and much, much more. We felt like kids in a candy shop soaking up all the art and experimentation happening in every nook and cranny of the space. Donald and his team are amazing and we were super jealous of their wonderful "toys."
After the Magnolia tour we headed in to San Francisco with a friend to check out the Ferry Building and grab some food before heading over to a reception for the 2014 Annual Members Exhibition, and studio tour of 1890 Byrant Street Studios. There was wonderful artwork from papermakers and printers around the country, and it was fun to see some printing in action while Howard Clark lead everyone in a hootenanny sing along with Peter Thomas that got the toes tapping. Then we headed over to our volunteer shift (part of earning our scholarship keep) helping put together this year's keepsake packets of papers (including the 200 we made.) Gary personally stuffed each and every keepsake envelope!
Saturday we headed out to Mills College in Oakland, enjoying a day of panelists sharing their knowledge on a wide range of topics such as how technology supports the creative process, how papermaking can be used for therapeutic healing and economic empowerment, how to hack inkjet printers to create more hands on images, how to grow and harvest flax for papermaking, and how a project called the Drinkable Book is bringing clean drinking water to developing areas. All of the panels we attended were packed with information and we learned a ton! The conference ended with a delicious Mediterranean style banquet and silent auction to raise funds for next year's scholarship recipients (a very worthy cause that we're grateful for!)
Below are a few photos of our quick excursions out to Muir Woods and Golden Gate before heading back to Portland on Sunday. We so enjoyed putting faces to names in the real world, and had a wonderful experience attending our first conference. We've come back to our studio with a renewed sense of purpose and percolating ideas.
We place central importance on bringing eco-friendly, high quality goods into existence, as do many other businesses in Portland. As the studio continues to evolve we are excited to connect with more artists, artists, businesses and organizations who share our design ethos.
Over the last month Jenn had the pleasure of working with artist Mami Takahashi in our studio as our first participant in our Combined Studio Residency with the c3:initiative. Having had a bit of experience with papermaking, Mami dove right into an exploration of fibers, trying out cotton, crocosmia, overbeaten abaca, Thai Kozo, and Japanese Kozo. Over the course of about 40 hours Mami honed her understanding of these types of fibers and how they can be incorporated into her art practice. We can't wait to share Mami's completed work with you next year and will keep you posted on when/where you can see her art around Portland and beyond.
Pulp & Deckle is a handmade papermaking studio located in Portland, OR.