The 2016 ATF Conference, Day 3

The third day of the conference took place primarily at the Press & Letterfoundry of Michael and Winifred Bixler in Skaneateles, returning to the hotel in Auburn for the closing banquet in the evening.

The morning started with Mike and Winnie Bixler telling us the history and some projects of their foundry in The Who, What, Where and Why of the Bixler Letterfoundry. After the presentation, there was plenty of Q&A and as that tapered off things transitioned to the open house at the foundry.

As part of the open house, some of the casters were ready to run (without incident this time), and many of the books produced by the Bixlers were available for examination. People milled about looking at everything, including some gorgeous cabinets Mike himself made for storing his matrices and other equipment.

This is one point where my memory, three months later, is a bit fuzzy. I was reasonably sure that I had been running the Supercaster, casting thistle ornaments for a while during the open house, but clearly I also cast some during the workshops on day 1 because they were sold in the auction. I’m going to have to start taking better notes, or perhaps writing these blog posts in a more timely manner!

Lunch was available at the foundry, but the open house continued into the afternoon as well.

Mid-afternoon there were two more presentations:

Richard Årlin, from Stigsbergets Stamp och Press, in Stockholm, Sweden, showed us his work in making a font from his own punches. In addition to cutting his own punches, he has his own jigs for punching the mats so as to minimize the amount of finishing required by holding the mat and punch in standardized positions. His YouTube channel contains several videos showing some of his work.

Bradley Hutchinson, from, in Austin Texas, spoke about some of his recent work, including producing a new casting of Victor Hammer’s Andromaque face using matrices electroformed by Andy Dunker. Bradley provided a handout with a sample of the result, along with another sample printed in Poliphilus and Blado.

After the presentations, the program listed a Show and Tell session but there wasn’t much extra to show so it pretty much blended into the rest of the open house for the remainder of the afternoon. I took the opportunity to show the computer caster interface I’ve been working on, although it was not yet ready to actually run a caster; all it was doing at the time was cycling through the individual ribbon channels to test valve action and air flow.

After the open house, we returned to Auburn for the closing banquet. After supper, there was a discussion of business such as the location for the next conference, followed by a presentation by Rich Hopkins on the beginnings of the ATF, circa 1978. All this was punctuated by loud thunderclaps from a heavy thunderstorm that developed that evening.

2 comments on “The 2016 ATF Conference, Day 3
  1. Rob says:

    Thanks for putting up these posts! I have enjoyed reading them all, and I realized I had already forgotten some of the details!

  2. kpmartin says:

    I must admit I’ve had to look at some other more timely accounts of the conference to prod my memory a bit…

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