Vance Gerry was raised in Pasadena, California, where he apprenticed at the Castle Press of Grant Dahlstrom as a teenager & caught the letterpress bug. He trained as a commercial artist and attended the Chouinard Art Institute, under the G.I. Bill, where he studied under the renowned animation artist Donald W. Graham.

In 1955 he worked at the Walt Disney Animation Studio as a layout and story sketch artist. He contributed to films such as Sleeping Beauty, 101 Dalmatians, Winnie-the-Pooh, and so on, finishing up with The Lion King. While still at Disney he returned to his roots as a letterpress printer and started the Peach Pit Press and from 1967 ran the Weather Bird Press which finally settled in Pasadena. He illustrated most of his books with his line drawings, linoleum cuts, and pochoir. He also wrote and printed several books under the pseudonym of Bunston Quayles.

He gave some serious thought to designing his own typeface, and acquired typefounding equipment & a Thompson caster. He tried his hand at cutting punches. Somewhere along the line he drew and had these ornaments engraved. They were originally cast up at the Los Angles Type Foundry, and have now been revived through a collaboration of the Whittington Press and Swamp Press. Gerry died March 5, 2005 and UCLA holds the Weather Bird Press Archive, 1966-1992 at the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library in Los Angeles.

These ornaments are now available from Swamp Press in the USA and Whittington Press in the UK, which published Vance Gerry & The Weather Bird Press in 2018. Five each of 16 different flowers.


Vance Gerry