Graven Images nearing completion

With sewing and binding the sole tasks left in the production our next book, I should take a moment to remind those who may have stumbled upon these mad ravings about what I speak of when I pray (or swear) to Graven Images.

Graven Images began as a modest portfolio of fourteen wood engravings printed at Greyweathers Press from the original boxwood blocks, all dating by my estimation circa 1875. The project grew into a book project, although I still refer to it as a portfolio, even in the title. It is the largest (in dimension, 12″ x 9.25″) book to date from the press, and the most ambitious in terms of illustration, complete with the aforementioned wood engravings, along with several half tones and images rendered digitally to magnesium plates.

The production has been sporadic to say the least, spread over two years in part due to pressing career and personal reasons. In all, it has been an exercise in frustration, but now at the cusp of completion, as the memory of back pain and aching feet fade into memory, I’m feeling better about it.

Printing was challenging, particularly the engravings, but satisfying. Most of the work came in cutting matte windows in the portfolio pages, double folding said pages and mounting the engravings. So far I have completed enough of these to finish 25 copies.

This over the next week the challenge will be to sew the book block, assemble and press the hard cover cases (standard hard cover binding, quartered with book cloth and wrapped in decorated papers by Holly), gluing in the block to the boards and finishing (spine label, possible a cover label too).

I’ve printed 100, and they will sell for CDN$160.

To fold the portfolio pages, I created a folding jig, which did not work very well, creating portfolio sheets that were erratic up to an 1/8th of an inch.

The folded portfolio sleeve, showing the lip (1") and the text for the following illustration sleeve.

The windows for the prints were cut prior to folding.

Mounting the engravings.

Completed sleeves ready for collation.

Twenty-five book blocks assembed and ready for sewing.

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One Comment on “Graven Images nearing completion”

  1. Iain Says:

    An unbeleiveable amount of work – amazing detail on those prints. The finished book should look amazing.

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