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").


Signed, Sealed, Delivered

Aurora Teardrops is only just getting into the press but it's already clocked over 10,000 miles. The sheets with Harold and Jane's signatures were printed in January, with the plan being for them to sign while in town for their performance. That only half-happened after Jane's trip fell through. So, the sheets got shipped to her in Joshua Tree.

We had hoped David Sylvian (author of the book's introduction) would also be able to sign, but coordinating with his travels was the challenge. While the sheets were in Joshua Tree he wrote to say he'd be in stationary for the week, and if we could get the sheets to him in time he'd sign. So, Jane scrambled to get the sheets to David, who very kindly & promptly signed the ones to be included in the 26 copies deluxe.

The sheet on the right (above), with just Jane & Harold's signatures, is for the 50 other copies, i.e. not part of the deluxe issue, mouldmade instead of handmade paper, not as many prints, a simpler binding. I refuse to call these "regular" copies; we'll think of an appropriate designation. Both sheets will be calligraphically editioned (A thru Z and 1 thru 50) when the books are bound.

The sheets flew back to Jane, who then bundled them up with the original watercolors she did, one to be included as a frontis in each of the deluxe copies, and sent the lot back to HM. Now I just have to make sure they don't get destroyed or lost while the rest of the book is being produced...


Tearing Paper for Teardrops

(Sometimes Mondays are Tuesdays...)

Spent the weekend counting, tearing & recounting paper for Harold Budd's Aurora Teardrops. Without this being the plan, it turns out that both papers for the project (deluxe & regular versions) came from the studio of painter Takao Tanabe, purchased by him in the late 1950s during his brief tenure as a job printer. These papers were too nice for commercial work, so they sat in his studio for four decades and then migrated to HM, thanks to Tak's generosity.

The deluxe copies will be printed on sheets of T.H. Saunders mouldmade laid (alas, no watermark). The regular copies will be printed on Golden Hind, the paper detailed in this post from last year. Both sheets will be dampened for printing (because after all, what's the point of printing with a handpress if you don't dampen your paper?).

The book (7.5 x 10 inches, approximately 60 pages) will be printed in folios. Details from Jane's paintings - also folios - will be reproduced on semi-transparent drafting vellum, nested in the text sections. (Smaller test proofs are shown in the pamphlet above.) The book will also include eight new arabesque drawings by Harold, interspersed through the text. The deluxe copies will be bound by Claudia (details TBD), the regular ones cased at HM.

I'll be setting up a project page on the HM site to chronicle progress over the next few months, and provide more details as they as finalized.


The first copies of Barbara Hodgson's Mrs Delany Meets Herr Haeckel are being sent out from Claudia's bindery. Below is a surreptitious shot of the binding, which includes onlays and extensive tooling. More detailed images will follow. The edition is fully subscribed: if interested please contact the booksellers listed on this page to inquire about availability.


They Tend to Rust

One of the many reasons Hell On Wheels is kool (from S4:E2):

"The platen on these Washingtons get stuck from time to time. You might want to replace the coiled springs. They tend to rust."

Also, it's filmed in a beautiful part of the world (pretty much the same area where Clint filmed Unforgiven, also excellent). Perhaps an upcoming post of handpress cameos in contemporary cinema? Meanwhile I'm worrying about where to find replacement coiled springs, should they ever be needed...


Oops It Happened Again

Two of my favorite colophons, printed by the same hands (but more to the point, proofread by the same eyes?). Baskin got away with it, not sure HM could.

The Poe book is an oddity. It was printed in in 1972, bound the following year, and not issued until 1975. Maybe the typo wasn't discovered until things were being collated for binding. This copy is inscribed by LB to the binder - "your bindings inspire me to make great books" - but the binding is actually a pretty dull affair, simple cloth over boards, with the title stamped oddly high and to the left on the front board. And the slipcase it too tight. And LB's anastatic print tipped on to the title page is not a showpiece for the relief-etching technique. But still, kool colophon. It inspired the colophon for HM's book Metal Types.