Chris Stern’s work lives on.
Chris Stern and Jules Remedios Faye were Stern & Faye Printers. Chris died in 2006 from cancer.
Great work reproduced here at the Stern & Faye website. The discerning reader will also notice that clearly their website was an inspiration point for the design of the Horse & Buggy Press website. Chris and Jules collaborated on some beautiful broadsides.
When I was a core student at Penland I discovered Chris’s work when I purchased States of Grace. I was intrigued because he seemed to be doing what I was trying to do… making beautiful book editions that are QUIETLY beautiful, tactilely engaging, and have great writing in them, and honor the private, intimate space of reading purposefully. These were books to be read and housed in bookshelves at homes, not ensconced in rare book libraries where the rarity is the books actually getting pulled out and read by anyone.
I wrote Chris a letter and we corresponded a few times (it sure is nice when people take the time to write back, share, and continue a dialogue; it makes the world seem like such a nicer, convivial place). Besides being an accomplished printer and an adventurous designer, Chris also was active in casting Monotype and working to preserve that craft (and helping out letterpress printers who were/are still interested in using metal type). I almost pulled the trigger on a book project a few years ago that I would have published myself — and Chris would have cast the type for — but it languishes to this day on the back burner due to a lack of funds. (there’s a fair bit of esteemed company —and interesting projects — crowding that back burner).
A few years ago we treated ourselves to a broadside Chris and Jules collaborated on when we were out in Seattle. (purchased at Wessel & Lieberman, a fantastic fine press bookstore) A detail of the broadside is pictured below.
Today I received an announcement about an initiative to start ” a working museum to preserve and continue the art and industry of the cast letterform.” The beginnings of this venture is Chris’s type foundry equipment. There is lots of information below at the link. This organization is a non-profit so any donations will result in a tax credit. Please consider contributing and/or spreading the word to folks that might be interested or do-gooders with the cash money to support important things that otherwise are going to die out.