My craft involves letterpress printing by hand. There is just something about a book printed with lead type on handmade paper that distinguishes it from all others. The printer’s craft, now mostly forgotten, comes into play here, as mastery of the final product involves far more than just a clean functioning press. The printer must also be designer, illustrator, engraver, technician and occasionally inventor.
All printing is done at Greyweathers Press by hand on the Vandercook S-219AB proofing press, with little or no mechanical assistance. Type is set by hand. Books are bound by hand in a variety of designs and styles, depending on the content of the book. Illustrations are integral to the books, and these will usually be original designs hand cut from lino or wood. Limited edition sets and singles of illustrations used in the book will also be matted and/or framed for sale.
I first encountered letterpress printing in a high school graphic arts program. Twenty-five years later, after a degree in English Literature and a career as a freelance writer and editor, I returned to fine printing and print-making. I have assembled a functioning letterpress printing operation in the studio that I share with my partner, artist Holly Dean.
The first book is Kubla Khan by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, to be followed in the spring of 2007 by a collection of poetry by occasional Merrickville resident Kera Willis, title Tenebrismo.