Friday, November 25, 2011

a new portfolio of prints

for some time I have been thinking of a set of prints, with just one word printed on a single sheet - a few weeks ago I started, taking a color-word, like PINK or RED, and printing it in a color which is not that of the word - an example is the RED print I posted here a little while ago - I've also been following Aaron Cohick's NewLightsPress blog where he recorded progress on a Kyle Schlesinger book in which he printed all the poems, overlaid on each other, on the book's cover - so I decided to see what would happen if I took just one sheet and did the same with the set of color prints - and the image above is the result - the sequence of colors was unplanned, taking each one as it occurred to me to do - but looking at it now, if I were to plan it, I'd probably print the more opaque colors first, and if I'd been a bit quicker of mind I'd have printed the same number of sheets as the rest of the edition - so there's only one of the above - the edition itself is nine copies of nine colors, with a separate titlepage and colophon page, printed in various wood types on damped Magnani handmade wove 270gsm paper and titled COLORWORDS, and will be issued as loose sheets in a drop-back box, priced at AUD$1200 the set - the boxes will be ready by christmas - by all means email me with any enquiries

Sunday, November 20, 2011

next Electio edition

the work hath begun now on the next in the Alphabeta series, #3, Picture Day by Kyle Schlesinger - here's the trial proof of the title, which will appear on the front cover, but not in yellow, but silver on the blue 'sky' pictured below - the wood type is 4-line & 8-line Modified Gothic from Hamilton - I've tried to get the blue tint off the paper, but the paper's white and, as with everything on the computer, it's approximate, and often in apparently irrational ways - in any case, requests for a copy of the printed prospectus are coming in, and if you want one, email me with your postal address -

and here's the picture of the poet -

Monday, November 14, 2011


it always interests me when I set up a chase for printing to notice just how different the printing surface looks from the printed surface - here's the chase set up for 'something' I'm working on at present - the type is wood made by Hamilton, and which they list as Modified Gothic - it's 8-line high (8 ems), and I have a fairly full set of caps, lower case, numbers and punctuation, all in very good condition - so, the chase + type = the forme - 

and this is what the printed image looks like -
interesting, isn't it -

Saturday, November 12, 2011

printing Robert Creeley

I've been lucky enough to print work of Robert Creeley, twice. First, when he toured New Zealand in 1976 as part of a trip around the Pacific - the title of the book he wrote on this  tour was Hello, the title also of the specifically New Zealand leg of the journey, and which I printed on an Arab treadle platen (not motorised) later that year. Second, when he returned to New Zealand as a Senior Fulbright Fellow in 1996, where he spent a semester at the University of Auckland, and wrote the wonderful poem, The Dogs of Auckland. As it happened, artist Max Gimblett was in New Zealand for an extended stay at the same time, and I asked both if they'd like to do a book together for The Holloway Press where I was printer. Of Hello I made 750 copies, of which 50 were on Glastonbury Antique Laid paper & signed by Creeley, and the rest on a machine-made Conqueror Wove. The cover title is in Eusebius Open, a type I did not have then - I had found a specimen alphabet, which I photocopied and enlarged, cut out the letters I needed, pasted them up, sharpened the outlines by hand, then reduced the image to the size I wanted and had a zinc block made - the colour is a Morrison Ink titled Russet Brown, which is no longer available - and the page size of the book is the same size as that of the notebook Creeley used to write the words of Hello - here's the cover and the titlepage -
as can be seen, there's a bit of foxing and general wear & tear (my books have moved to more addresses than I sometimes want to remember -
         by the time I got to print The Dogs of Auckland Robert had returned home to the US but Max was still in Auckland and he assisted with the printing process thruout the production. Also assisting was the only intern I ever had, Natasha Herman, who now runs her Redbone Bindery in Canada, which can be seen here -
         here is a spread from The Dogs of Auckland, in which the title lettering is by Max Gimblett -
there is of course a problem with scale here - Hello's page size is 195x120mm, 7.75x4.75ins, while Dogs is 235x320mm, 9.25x12.5ins - the poor point & shoot camera and the vast complexity of the computer are nevertheless completely unequipped to preserve such basic things like exact colour, relative scale - and all that sort of thing. . .