Paone’s life-long adoration for The Black Art grew to a wellspring in the autumn of 2011 and birthed a flurry of intensive research exploring the feasibility of a letterpress studio expressed as experimental laboratory. Borne of this creative activity — a vision which culminated in the founding of papo letterpress:
Research into letterpress printing begins, specifically to better understand press functionality, application and requirements.
Identification of table-top press model as prime candidate due to size and manageability; with Paone capable of full repair and maintenance — key factors in the merit of its acquisition.
Identification of rare early-design Vandercook fixed-cylinder press, originally manufactured by Horace Hacker & Co. under trademark Poco Proof Press. Paone believes this model well suited for the studio’s experimental letterpress printing applications.
Search begins for availability of Poco Proof Press in continental United States.
Proceeds to self-train in letterpress printing and general press operation via textbooks, manuals and internet resources.
Begins frenzied curation and assembly of fledgling, yet notable collection of vintage foundry and wood types.
Finds and secures vintage Poco Proof Press Number Zero — orchestrates delivery from Midwestern United States — a six-month process.
Research into rubber-based inks, cotton paper stocks and tools of the trade.
Delivery of press to Philadelphia : Paone founds papo letterpress (pronounced pa’ • po : an amalgam of paone + poco). Press arrives in severely distressed condition; in need of repair and restoration.
Paone undertakes restoration of 100-year old press; employs meticulous process of self-invented methodology.
Completely disassembles press, yielding more than 50 unique and original parts.
Proceeds to establish and develop studio mission and initial proprietary initiatives.
Crafts preliminary design drawings and builds print studio specific facilities. Simultaneously acquires and restores vintage reglet and furniture cabinets, including contents of more than 2,650 individual pieces.
Completes restoration and assembles press — the result, a study and finish producing a fully functioning press.
Procures inks and initial paper stocks.
First letterpress print : 14 February 2016 : communion_01
Commences various letterpress printing experimentation and typographic exploration.
Drafts preliminary plans to establish papo letterpress children’s literacy foundation, develop local partnerships, and formulate pilot engagement program.
Begins development of papo letterpress website.
Launch of papo letterpress website and social media platforms.