Aurora Teardrops (the poem)

Once you're into the printing of a book, most of the fun work is done & you're just into the grind. For Aurora Teardrops, it's two days on (printing off a sheet, a day per side), one off (doing all the things that don't get done while printing). By chance, last weekend's sheet included the title poem, on a page that happens to have one of Harold's arabesques. That's the Regular at left (Golden Hind laid paper) and the Deluxe at right (TH Saunders wove).

(This is the second time I've printed that poem. It's was first published in the Sunblind Highway collection from earlier this year. So for all of you completists, track one down at Books Tell You Why).

For everyone who has subscribed to the project newsletters, the first one should be going within the next week. Thanks for all the expressions of interest & enthusiasm. HM


It's Steeper Near The Roses

Last week we proofed a large version of Harold's manuscript score for "It's Steeper Near the Roses." A slightly smaller version will appear in Aurora Teardrops. The piece (from his album Avalon Sutra) was dedicated to David Sylvian, which is why we chose it to include in the book. (Also, the first poem, opposite which the score will appear, begins with the lines "I could compose a love poem / (if I were in love - I may be close) / Were it sung by David Sylvian / it would enter Paradise...") Just a handful of the larger versions of the score were proofed, for sharing among the collaborators.

As previously posted, the eight arabesque drawings by Harold that appear throughout the book have all be printed, and we're into the text now: 16 sheets two-up (two pages on each side of a sheet, folded to make a total of four book pages). All of the text has been set, so we pulled one complete proof of the book just to check everything one last time. It's not meant to be lovely, so don't look to close.

See the previous post (below) if you are interested in receiving updates on Aurora Teardrop's progress and publication details. We expect to be issuing copies starting in September.

Aurora Teardrops Updates

This is an interim post in advance of the weekly news. Lots of people are checking out older posts related to the upcoming Harold Budd project, Aurora Teardrops, probably as a result of his performance in Minneapolis last weekend. If you want to be updated on the book's progress, and get ordering information when publications draws close, send an email to us with Aurora Teardrops List in the subject line. We'll send out occasional email updates and publication details. Your email will not be shared with anyone, we will use it only for Aurora Teardrops updates, and we will delete the email when the project is completed (or sooner if you request it). The HM email address can be found at the bottom of the right-hand column on this page, just above the Subscribe box...


Oops (Lazy Man)

A postscript to last week's entry about printing the drawings that appear on pages in Aurora Teardrops. As mentioned, these runs involved unusual positioning of the sheets in the press for bleeds, so the plan was to make do with the existing windows cut in the frisket, and then recover it before moving on to printing the text (on points; because the sheets were being placed on the tympan in odd & varying orientations for the drawings, the points had to be removed).

Anyway, halfway through printing the drawings the cord tied to the hanging frisket hook broke, and the frisket crashed down and right through my hand: big hole. Luckily, the drawings offered a lot of leeway when printing, so I was able to finish them off by simply patching the broken frisket cover with tape. Yes, I am a lazy, lazy man. But recovering the frisket is a messy (scrapping away the old paper glued to the frame) and fussy (attaching the new cover and then waiting to see if it will dry flat) affair; just one of those attributes would be enough to make me avoid it.

(Checking Rummonds on a technical matter related to this calamity, I found the following on page 296: "SAFETY TIP  If the frisket were accidentally to fall and hit you on the head, it would most likely knock you out. When an overhead support is not feasible [he means a wooden stay or brace], be inventive; for years in Verona, I propped my frisket up with a cardboard tube." I don't want to install a fixed stay, so I think I'm going to attach the hook with two cords now, and replace them annually.)

I'm printing one more thing before getting into the text, and so did a quick patch repair to the frisket. It's a single large area being printed, so even the tympan packing has to be changed out. With this run done before the end of the day, I'll start scraping the old frisket away and put a new one on tomorrow. Then on to the text...


Print Bleeds

Printing Harold Budd's arabesques that appear randomly through Aurora Teardrops. There are eight in all, and six bleed off one, sometimes two edges, i.e. outside the text area on sheets. So I had to do these before setting the press up for printing the text - the lock-up and tympan will have to be changed in between. (I wanted to keep the deckles, so I couldn't trim sheets down after printing to achieve the bleed.) Fun to finally get this book in press!


Excellent booksellers Vamp & Tramp have just released a new 50 under $100 catalogue, books by (mostly) book artists. I'm always amazed at the breadth and depth of work V&T carries, and their unceasing work to get books into the world.


the the Officina Bodoni De Aetna

Been a while since I've added to the Handpress Library posts, so here's a brief one: Pietro Bembo's De Aetna, the edition published by Officina Bodoni in 1969. It includes an appended essay by Mardersteig about the famous roman type developed for Aldus Manutius' edition of the work in 1596.

The book was published in English, Italian and German editions, each in an edition of 125 press-numbered (natch) copies. The bindings - as usual with O.B. books - are understated examples of the craft: quarter leather, sewn endbands (see the tie-down in the gutter?), TEG.

Koolest of all, proof of Mardersteig's human infallibility: a repeated word on page 99, the second gently abrogated in pencil (by the publisher?). Probably unique to the English edition!

I first heard of (but could not lay my hands on) this book in the late '90s while working on the Francesco Griffo biography. After almost 20 years of looking, a copy finally came my way. Could be useful for our pondered second, expanded edition of Fragments & Glimpses...


Spring Cleaning

We're culling books from our personal collections around here. Making space. Here's my copy of the Allen Press bibliography, which I got in sheets, added extra samples to (i.e. a graingerized* copy), and had bound in full morocco by Hélène Francoeur.

Beautiful, but it actually is one of three copies I own, so it's been set free. One of the samples included is a Picasso litho from Four Poems of the Occult. Write if you're interested.

* "Graingerised or extra-illustrated books, as they are now more commonly called, are copies which have had added to them, either by a private owner or professionally, engraved portraits, prints, etc., usually cut out of other books..." (ABC For Book Collectors, John Carter) Note that the material added to the above Allen Press book was NOT cut out of any other books; check Carter for "Breaking-Up").