Posted tagged ‘Book Arts Shows’

On humility….

March 2, 2016

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Yes, that’s a litter box under my press. As Tennyson fades into extreme old age, he chose the space where I kept my rags under my press as his salle de bain, so it seemed to make sense to move his litter there. Also, using an antique section of banister, we are able to keep the dogs from devouring the contents of the litter, which is simply gross and where I draw the line at humility. It means as I work on getting the type printing just right or fighting with make-ready on wood engravings, I catch the occasional whiff of…. Is it me? Surely not! Ahhh, the cat.

The press, being both the source of beauty, elegance and style – and Tennyson’s depository – does bring me down to earth when things are going well, as they have been for the past year or so. In 2015, I received word that the University of Toronto’s Fisher Library wanted to acquire all books and broadsides printed to date, with a keen interest in anything else I come up with.

The year also saw me blaze through 20 shows: indoor with table or booth, and outdoor under tent. These shows were on the whole very successful, and just a few changes I will be repeating the same number in 2016. Shows are a wonderful way to meet new people, and to keep up with friends and collectors.

As for what shows I’ll be doing, I’ll be adding a page to this blog, but a listing will also appear in my newly reinvigorated website, complete with an on-line store for prints, all to be found at www.greyweatherspress.com

The biggest news this year will be the release of the most ambitious project yet from the press: Ecclesiastes. Yes, Greyweathers Press is getting biblical, with a heft that will weigh in at an estimated 80 pages of beautiful Arches Text Wove, illustrated with 60 odd wood engravings. Stay tuned, a detailed announcement is forthcoming.

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An early draft of the title page design.

So with all of this activity, Tennyson’s periodic visits to my press keep me from getting too full of myself, and rightly so. It is all about the work, after all, and not the accolades.

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Book Arts & Small Press Show in Toronto

August 21, 2015

Two years ago I had the privilege to show my books in the womb of the Fisher Rare Book Library at University of Toronto. It’s happening again on September 12, 2015 from 10 to 5 pm at 120 St. George Street in Toronto, Canada. For more info, click here.

A view of what participants and attendees of the Fisher Small and Fine Press Fair see all day.

A view of what participants and attendees of the Fisher Small and Fine Press Fair see all day.

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Book Arts at the Fisher Rare Book Library

September 3, 2013
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Tunnel book by Wil Reuter, Aliquando Press

I am rather excited to be included in a swiftly organized show at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library in Toronto on September 7. This show corresponds with the end of an exhibition called “A Death Greatly Exaggerated”, using Twain’s famous retort in context with the dire prognostications on the future of the printed book. There are details on their WEBSITE, and I’ve also included a great video which pretty much sums up the exhibition.

Grimsby Wayzgoose 2013!

April 24, 2013

“Wayzgoose” is one of those old words of mysterious origin, but what is certain is that it was a time of celebration for printers, and printers are people who particularly enjoy celebrating! Today, the term is applied to  book artists to exhibit and sell their beautiful hand crafted work. And yes,  to celebrate as well.

The Wayzgoose in Grimsby, Ontario is a venerable book arts show, founded by the renown Bill Poole, and one we’ve exhibited at for the past five or six years. Once again, we’ll have a table there offering books and prints. Hope to see you!

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Exhibition – Contemporary Book Arts in Eastern Ontario

February 9, 2013

We are very honoured to be a part of an exhibition set to open at the Douglas Library at Queen’s University. I have studied under and with some of these participating artists, and many I consider my peers and friends, but they all inspire me. This exhibition was conceived by Margaret Lock of Locks Press (Kingston), and I have been helping out as a co-ordinator. Jeff Macklin, a letterpress printer from Peterborough, Ontario (Jackson Creek Press) designed the catalogue and the poster.

There will be an opening reception on March 7 between 5 pm & 6:30 pm. The details are below. If you are in the Kingston area, drop in and see this extraordinary collection of books.

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On Shows, and Selling Books

July 27, 2012

Just one corner of the Fantasy in the Forest

It has been a week now since Holly and I set up at the Fantasy in the Forest Show. As mentioned before, this annual show is probably our favourite, set up as it is on the shores of an idyllic lake, and accessible via a single lane trail that snakes its way from the highway some kilometres distant. Visitors to the show must take a shuttle in from a parking area, and many feel it adds to the “brigadoon” quality of the experience.

Organizer Jamie Brick and his wife are planning to move the show away from the lake to a piece of land closer to the main road. It’s a good plan for many reasons, not the least being easier access for both vendors and customers, but we’ll miss the lakeside venue.

This year, we set up in Jamie’s old space, he taking over the nearly completed “chapel” that we had used for the last couple of shows. Being indoors rather than under tent makes a difference when you are displaying books and paper. It can get rather humid out-of-doors, on a lake. this year, however, it was warm and dry with cool breezes coming in off the lake.

Display of prints, framed and unframed, in my half of the room.

One view of Holly’s side, overlooking the lake.

We both had a great show this year. I sold some prints and a large framed type sampler and three books, which was a pleasant surprise. Holly sold some paintings. One never knows what will come from exhibiting; we’ve experienced every extreme. A booth show, where paintings or prints must be hung, are hard work beginning with loading the van or truck to unpacking back into the studio. (Book arts shows are easier, having just a table or two to cover). Thankfully, for the Fantasy in the Forest, it was just a couple of MINI Cooper loads, but it still took me until yesterday to get everything put away, freeing the press area for work again. We took the balance of Monday off, then played catch-up during the rest of the week.

Book display, framed wood engravings and the framed type sampler hanging from the door.

Obviously sales are important when doing these shows; we have to pay for the booth, gas to get us there and back (repeatedly this year), food and sometimes accommodation, although for this show that is not a cost. But it is also an opportunity to engage with people, to talk about the work, get feedback, and new ideas – to reacquaint with familiar collectors and hopefully meet new ones. My book sales fell into that category: a copy of Kubla Khan went to an English teacher and Coleridge enthusiast who summers on the lake; a copy of Graven Images went to a dear friend with whom we have recently reconnected – she saw the book when we visited her recently. Lastly, I was startled last year at this same show when a young teenaged girl picked up the Vampire & the Seventh Daughter and paid for it herself, from gift money. She came again this year, and bought Tenebrismo.  She came back again the following day, and we had a very articulate conversation about Kera’s poetry. It always feels good to sell limited edition hand-printed books; they are such oddities in the retail world, and only a few people understand their value, and thus their cost. A fair bit of my time at shows is spent trying to articulate this sensibility, with some success. But to meet someone so young and so enthusiastic about books and literature, well, that’s just really, really cool!

With five editions still in print, it creates a nice little display. Left to right: Graven Images, Kubla Khan, Tintern Abbey (on lectern), Tenebrismo and Vampire & the Seventh Daughter. Some framed engraving proofs from Tintern Abbey are on the wall.

OCAD Book Arts Show Triumphant!

December 4, 2011

There’s an old joke that floats around the letterpress and book arts scene: “You never sell books at a book arts show!” It’s not really a reflection of book arts shows, but rather the challenge of selling hand printed books in general. And this year I saw lots of books selling at the OCAD Book Arts Show, and even waved goodbye to a couple of my own. One of the things I love about the OCAD show is the very obvious presence of students exhibiting their work. It brings a raw freshness to the book arts, and I am always astonished at how many young artists are being attracted by old school books and printing.

The venue is quite striking as well, as I tried to caption in my first experiment with panoramic photographic stitching, early in the show. Crowds filled the hall for most of the day. (Click photos to make them larger).

The Great Hall at OCAD in Toronto, with the Book Fair in full swing.

A less distorted view from our table at the OCAD Book Arts Show


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