The Mission of Quercus Press: To create lasting images in artist's books and other printed matter which can be experienced in an intimate way thereby allowing people to appreciate and enjoy the world of overlooked beauty. History of Quercus Press: The Name: Quercus Press was named in 1993 when I was interning at the Silver Buckle Press at the University of Wisconsin. The name Quercus Press sprung from my love of botany and trees. Quercus, Latin for Oak, not only has the connotation of something long-lasting and magestic, but the QU is often a graceful ligature in older typefaces. (Notice the Cloister QU at the top of this page!) This is not the first Quercus Press, Robinson Jeffers named his press Quercus Press, and there was a literary publication in California in the 60's named Quercus as well. The Press: The first publication by Quercus Press, Acquainted With the Night, was produced in Madison in 1993 with the tremendous support of Anna Helper, guidance from Barb Tetenbaum, and help of Phuong Nguyen and Carol Herfort. Quercus Press went into a dormant winter until I moved to Boston to attend the North Bennet Street School and make the book with my former professor Sam Walker, that would become Putrefatti. Sam Walker had been invited to enter the judged exhibition "Science and the Artist's Book," an exhibit at theSmithsonian Dibner Library and the Washington Project for the Arts. Sam and I had collaborated earlier in teaching a course on Artist's Book with Anna Helper at Oberlin College in 1992. Putrefatti was the project that shoved Quercus Press into the old growth forest of Artist's Books. I developed a structure with the help of instructors Sally Key and Daniel kelm which utilizes innovatieve techniques to showcse intagio processes while keeping he best of traditional bookbinding. When shown Putrefatti for the first time, Anne Anninger, curator of prints at the Houghten Library remared that this was "The most exciting Artist's Book I've seen in a long time." In 1996 Quercus Press moved into its first real "home." The first two editions, though products of Quercus Press, were editioned using other presses: first Silver Buckle, then Dorothea Black's Vandercook 4 at Scrabbletown Press. Upon installation of the 1938 model 8 Linotype and the small job-shop of Henry Doucette of Waltham which included numerous cases of type, a 12X15 Chandler and Price & a Guillotine, Quercus Press was now ready for operation. Here is the moving announcement and first job printed on the new C&P! . ---- Already in the works, the Webster project was going to require a big letterpress. I'll spare you all the details of acquiring the fantastic Vandercook Universal III from Norfolk, VA, but this was definitely the Brontosaurus to help make the Pictoral Webster's project possible. Before embarking on this mammoth book, though, I undertook something equally ambitious. I'd discovered my mother's parents had edited a small newspaper in Frederick, Maryland, back in the 60's? My Grandfather thought of himself as a first rate muckraker. It inspired me, and I decided I needed to publish my own newspaper, too! The Work in Progress newspapers were probably the most Radical things I accomplished with my linotype and Vandy III. Free letterpressed newspapers, hand-printed with my own cartoons engraved in wood, with forms that literally filled the whole bed of my press. In the greatest tradition of a free press, I created my own newspaper, my own stories, which began to revolve more and more about Quercus Press, culminating in my most recent issue celebrating my 30th birthday and a two page interview of myself. In the second issue, my devotion was tested, my Model 8 Linotype broke, and I was forced to set three pages of a newspaper by hand! 21st? More like, 19th Century, here I come! I worked around the clock, and as one point size of a font was used up, I'd switch to the next smaller size. I went from 12 to 10 to 8 pt Caslon, and Stymie Med and light and then even set some 6 pt. Garamond! Expect the next issue sometime in the next year or so.[wow, this was written in 2004, there hasn't been an issue since the dawn of the new millenium - i guess I am still optimistic that I will someday print another copy] So, if you would be interested in the next issue, let me know and I'll try to get one to you. You just might have to wait a while. As it says on the banner, "Published Sporadically!"
For almost 15 years Quercus Press was an active part of the Artist's Community in Waltham known as the Waltham Mills Artist's Association. QP was located in building 18 known specifically as the Moody Station Studios. When I was first there, the artists living/working on my floor were Norm Thomas and Joan Kiley, Marge Minkin, Richard, Melinda Ashley and Michele Ashley, Billy Karedes. In more recent years, Josh Winer, Larry Sampson, Jeff Sias and Hannah Bureau came to live work there. My space is now occupied by the guitar garage.
After an epic move which involved acquiring an additional press, Quercus Press relocated to rural Maryland. As of 2011 the presses are in an outbuilding that must have been built as a garage. With help I have been trying to turn it into a tidy little print shop. Chris Beyerbach helped install a new cement floor and put in beautiful french doors. Affordable Geothermal put in an ultra-efficient Fujitsu heat pump. Eventually operations will be moved to the barn on the property and Quercus Press will become a resource for book artists young and old - this is the dream that I have harbored for many years. The barn was gifted to me and my cousins in 1980 something and it was always my intention to turn it into a studio . . . time will tell. It may be some years before much happens as my children are still young and there is much to do in creating a rich life for our family - but perhaps that will be a great part of that richness? Let us hope.