Printing Year is Under Way

Friday saw the back of a huge order we had been working on since December, so now there is time to begin work in earnest on a number of printing projects simultaneously.

I had to put the vampire project briefly on hold, since a contribution to the Grimsby Wayzgoose Anthology is a deadline looming more ominously than any other. For those wondering, the Wayzgoose is a book arts show held annually in April in Grimsby, Ontario, a town located about halfway up the Niagara Peninsula on Lake Ontario. All participants are invited to contribute 115 copies of a printed signature (one or two sheets, 8.5 x 11 folded sideways to make 4 or 8 pages) for the Anthology. Any contributors get a copy of the anthology.

So, on Sunday I set the type of an eight line poem titled The Black Bird by William Henley, and printed it yesterday. Today, Holly did the title and colophon in calligraphy, and that was scanned in and printed onto the sheets using a laser printer. Oooooh, I can hear the purists howl even as I write! Such a violation…. Well, we never envisioned GP being purely letterpress, particularly given Holly’s tendency toward artistic extravagance that would be somewhat confined by the sum total of two fonts. Under other circumstances, I would have magnesium plates made of the calligraphy, but not under such tight time constraints. The combination looks good — Holly’s calligraphy breaths life into everything it goes on. Now all that’s left to do is print the linocut ‘black bird’ illustration, and then Thursday 115 copies go in the mail to Wayzgoose.

After that, it’s back to the Vampire story, finishing the typesetting, cutting the illustrations, then printing, this time for the Press Gang anthology. I love having backlog!

I’ve taken receipt of the Kilburn wood engraving blocks and taken some proofs. This is a very exciting project that I will go into detail about some other time, but the short story is that a local woman discovered some mid-19th century engraved blocks, and she has loaned them to me to print from them. The engraver’s name is Kilburn, and he worked in the Boston area between circa 1840 and 1860s. There’s very little info about him, and no understanding of how these blocks surfaced in Eastern Ontario. Exciting stuff!

Finally, for mention this time at least, there is the collection of letters from a WWII soldier to a woman in Ottawa with whom he had an affair, and got the young woman with child. I’m almost finished reading through them all, and some are quite steamy. A book would be excerpts, since there are many letters. This project is pending approval from the family who owns the letters. Apparently the family of the soldier’s wife at the time was not aware of his transgression, and they still remain in the dark. All pretty moot, since the soldier never returned from the war. Think Atonement with Canucks.

Photos of these projects tomorrow…..

Explore posts in the same categories: Book Making, Letterpress printing

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