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Friends of Dard Hunter Annual Meeting

   I attended the Friends conference and it was fantastic. This was my
second, although I new many of the papermakers from IAPMA conferences I have
attended in the past. Its always refreshing and encouraging to meet with so
many individuals who have a passion for paper. I learn so much from these
people each time we meet, not only from lectures but from the many
opportunities to talk and share experiences during breaks, bus and subway
rides, openings and meals. There were some 220 in attendance.
   This was the first time I had been to New York and I was initially
unimpressed with the city. That all changed by the end of the conference.
The main gathering point for the first day was Dieu Donne, the non-profit
papermill located in Soho. We had chosen in advance from a host of behind
the scenes tours. The first day I visited the Thomas J. Watson Library at
the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Soho Letterpress - a company that prints
letterpress on handmade paper, Printed Matter - a book store that sells
artists books and Solo Impression - a printmakers studio with a variety of
special presses. The day ended with a reception back at Dieu Donne.
   The second day, Friday, was lecture day. There were 16 speakers, covering
papermaking endeavors from Argentina to India. Particularly interesting was
a video presented by Elaine Koresky of a recent trip to Burma. It featured
hot air balloons made of handmade paper sent off into the night with
fireworks for a basket as an offering to Buddha. These were unmanned
versions about the size of two minivans. There was a trade fair during the
lunch hour with many items to good to pass up. That evening there were two
receptions, one at the Center for the Book Arts and one at Harper Collins
entitled "Dard Hunter and the Art of the Handmade Book" that featured
several Dard Hunter's books and numerous artifacts from his life as a book
   Early Saturday morning we were all bused to Brooklyn and treated to a
Polish Breakfast hosted by Dobbin Mill and Carriage House Paper with Paper
Performances in the courtyard that is shared by these two studios. We then
set off on the Grand Tours. My tour, the Book Lovers tour, included the
Brooklyn Public Library for an exhibition on the papermaker Douglass Morse
Howell, the Brooklyn Museum Library for a sampling of their artist book
collection and the Pierpont Morgan Library where we were given a tour of the
book/paper conservation lab. By this time there were a few nodding heads in
the group but there was little time before we gathered for the big Banquet
and Auction at the Triple Eight Palace in Chinatown. Sunday morning we
packed our bags and headed for home, exhausted but satisfied.
   Manhattan isn't a place I could live, but it sure is a great place to
visit. I look forward to the next conference in Sonoma, California!

Brian Queen

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