2010 Manifesto

There’s a reason why a great deal of good work comes out of pain and suffering. In the documentary It Could Get Loud, guitarist Jack White suggested that the wellspring of creativity has its source in a dialectic — a struggle or conflict. And if there’s no pain, you must create your own. If the end product comes easy, with no sweat, then it’s probably not very good.

White’s comments reminded me why I print with Luddite equipment: It’s not easy. It slows me down in my frantic need to get to the finish line. The combination of time and old tech produces a result unattainable by toner or pixels, at the moment anyway. It’s hard work, and demanding, and there are a lot of people out there now doing simply mind-blowing work, and that’s inspiring.

I enter Year Six of Greyweathers Press with hopes and dreams, just like all the other years. The theme for the next five is ‘Getting Serious’. I’ve spent the first five doing serious things too. Finding out where to get rollers recast, how to order type, why things won’t register and how additives work with ink. Not to mention getting a press into working order. But I’m past that now.

I’ve said before that I consider most of the work in the first five years as part of my apprenticeship, to hark back to the early days of printing as a trade. Now it is time to step up the pace and intensity. So here goes:

1) ten books in five years;
2) step up production value;
3) marketing: on-line presence, adverts, launches, more shows, book sellers;
4) intensify illustration: my own, but working with other artists as well;
5) form working alliances with writers, illustrators, printers, bookbinders; and
6) further my studies in book design and typography.

And here’s the big list of ideas that may float to the surface over the next five years.

Upcoming from Greyweathers Press

1) Graven Images – this will be the title of the wood engraving portfolio. I begin setting type for this project this week.

2) Broadsides – I haven’t done many of these posters. I have a few ideas in mind.

3) Type sampler – I did one right after I got my press working, and found working copies in the re-org in December. Probably as a broadside.

4) Signature for Wayzgoose – something special this time

5) Collaboration with Holly – still in progress [BOOK]

6) The Highwayman – possibly working with another artist [BOOK]

7) ABCdery – for the grandson [PORTFOLIO]

8)Christmas card

9) something Gothic, something dead [BOOK or BROADSIDE]

10) Thompson Family History – almost ready to go to print

11) Tenebrismo regular edition – so close to done I can taste it

12) Business cards – marketing! marketing!

13) Lino/wood engravings series (self portrait)

14) New Year’s card (Jan 2010)

15) Shakespeare’s soliloquies – a book still at the envisioning stage [BOOK]

16) Eliot – Prufrock [BOOK]

17)  FIVE – a portfolio celebrating the first five years of Greyweathers Press. [PORTFOLIO]

18) Fantastic Journeys — The Untold Detours and Lost Maps of the Great Explorers. [FOLIO]

19) Selections from Idylls of the King by Tennyson (or In Memorium) [BOOK]

20) Tintern Abbey – Wordsworth [BOOK]

As a footnote, I look back to when I started this blog, and more or less, for right or wrong and through good and bad, it served mostly as a press log, and as a place to throw down the odd random thoughts on printing. In the new year and beyond, I may grow it beyond this rather self-interested goal and cover other presses, books and publications that inspire me and push me forward.

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One Comment on “2010 Manifesto”

  1. Holly Says:

    The future sounds fabulous Larry! I am thrilled to be a part of it.


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