Churning through binding copies of Aurora Teardrops, despite constant distractions around here (the most recent, & most distracting of all, is shown at bottom; wasn't my idea). It's a little difficult to get a photo that shows off the interplay of the Deluxe binding's acrylic boards and the vellum prints beneath, but here are a couple of attempts.

Despite being a basic case binding, there are some fussy aspects that have made the first few copies slow work. It's all to do with how acrylic boards are attached to the Japanese paper spine, and then how the textblock is attached to the case (since there isn't a traditional pastedown). Everything hinges on the hinge.

Although I won't be doing the Collector's copies until after the Deluxe, I did one up just to ensure my plan was correct. The cover paper is Guarro laid decorated with a sort-of "direct marbling" technique: a sheet is soaked in water, and then oil paint is dripped on to the surface, diffusing above the water. The sheet is dried, soaked again, and a second application (different color) is added, and then again for a third color. Thus, each copy will be cased in a unique sheet.

Each of the Deluxe copies includes an original watercolor frontis by Jane Maru (with a sewn-in tissue guard). The frontis in the Collector's copies will be one of the two cover prints used in the Deluxe copies (i.e. either the front or rear print, it'll be a coin toss which you get).

The copies shown here haven't had their spine labels added yet. Also, the Deluxe copy will be protected in a slipcase covered in a lovely green Guarro sheet. The first batch should be going out by the end of this week. 


HM's new VP Security & Assoc. Dir. Fun. (Nothing's worse than when you have to hire family...)


Aurora Teardrops A Thru Z

Today I picked up what I'm calling the limitation page for the deluxe copies of Aurora Teardrops, from calligrapher Martin Jackson. (This page appears at the front of the book, stating the edition size & the copy's letter within the edition, above the signatures of Harold Budd, Jane Maru & David Sylvian. There also is a colophon, at the back of the book, with the usual details about printing, materials, etc.) Martin is THE calligrapher in western Canada, has been for ages. He previously helped HM on the deluxe copies of Good & Evil in the Garden (he did the titles on the spines of the 10 vellum-bound deluxe copies), and also on Charles van Sandwyk's The Mouse & The Lizard (titles and initial letters). The scope and depth of his talent are incredible, plus he's a prince of a guy. Having him edition the deluxe copies of Aurora Teardrops is just the finishing touch they needed.


Take It Easy

It's Labor Day, I shouldn't have to be posting. But here are two things...

The HM studio isn't the only magical place in this neighborhood: a sign found on a new building a few blocks down the street...

Went for a walk in a nearby (non-magical) neighborhood, found this outside someone's house. A perfectly good, working rock, just being given away.

Come back tomorrow, I'll have something kool from Aurora Teardrops to show.


Bronze is OK

Been experimenting with decorated papers for binding the Collector's issue of Aurora Teardrops. The one below is getting close (this is image is not very accurate, colorwise). Made with the same bronze ink used in the book. I like the one above but can't recreate it. No clue what was going on there.

Some other experiments below. The Deluxe issue of Aurora Teardrops is now fully subscribed, and about two-thirds of the Collector's is taken up. That doesn't mean you can't get a copy: HM distributes its books through professional booksellers, and that's where most copies are going. If you want a copy of either version, contact one of these booksellers: Books Tell You Why, Vamp & Tramp, or Bromer Booksellers.

Pretty much into the grind of binding copies now. Still have hundreds of prints to trim down; I do them in batches, to preserve fingers & sanity. Not much to say about binding once you're into it: just like printing, grinding out sausages.


Couple of interesting book stories this past week. The planned publication of a facsimile of the Voynich Manuscript got lots of press. The "English" option on the site of the publisher (Siloe) isn't terribly useful, and the link to information about the facsimile just throws up a low-rez PDF, so I couldn't find the kind of production and material information I was looking for. Many of the mainstream reports parroted this line about the book being printed on a paper developed by Siloe: "Made from a thick paste, the paper will be treated so that the final product has the stiff feel of the Voynich vellum." I guess pulp could be described as a thick paste, and Reg Lissel made beautiful "vellum" paper by over-beating abaca fiber. Maybe they're referring to the surface size being applied to sheets? Dunno.

Other bit of news that got lots of coverage in these parts: Special Collections at the University of British Columbia acquired a copy of the Kelmscott Chaucer. That, plus the large Morris/Kelmscott collection (sans Chaucer) acquired by Simon Fraser University a few years ago, should keep students of Morris et al happy & busy. Just don't feel the need to revive his revival (neither the Chaucer nor any Kelmscott book is the most beautiful book ever printed). Congrats to Rare Books head Katherine Kalsbeek. She's kool (and not just because she's been a supporter of HM).

In case you haven't already heard, Jason Dewinetz is working on a book showing/playing with the various types he has at Greenboathouse Press, including many that he's been casting himself with Jim Rimmer's old equipment. I confess that this is the first new "press" book I've encountered in some long time that's caught my interest, and I look forward to getting my copy. The deluxe issue is sold out, but he still has some of the regulars unreserved. Due before the end of the year. Recommended.


Jane Maru's Prints

Back in the saddle: came home to 600+ Jane Maru prints for Aurora Teardrops. Above is the first complete (i.e. with the prints) copy of the book. We'll do a test binding over the next couple of days to confirm all the final measurements, then into production. Ditto for the Collector's edition (I'm still fussing over the cover paper for that issue; couple of ideas being kicked around). I have promised a second Newsletter, focusing on the binding, and hope to have something ready by this time next week.

The prints are all larger than final size, and I plan on trimming each one differently, so they'll differ slightly (around the edges) from copy to copy. The vellum paper that the prints are on is impossible to trim cleanly (without snags) on a guillotine, so each one has to be done individually, with a blade. I hope I'm not underestimating how much time that'll add to things.

An update regarding availability of copies: most of the 26 deluxe copies are now committed to people who pre-ordered through Books Tell You Why, or to HM's other regular booksellers (who will be happy to sell one to you; if you're having trouble finding with a bookseller who can provide one, send HM a note and we'll connect you).

I'll post any interesting progress photos this week on HM's facebook page.


The LA Record ran this interview with Harold in advance on last weekend's show at Whittier College, AND it includes a stream of the first recording that I know about, of music performed at an Aurora Teardrops performance! I think it's a live recording from when he was in Vancouver last January, performing with Veda Hille. She's read the second through fifth poems in the book: Sundown, Solstice, Shadow, & Winds. Kool kool kool...


Gone Fishing

I have not absconded: I'm on vacation this week (not saying where), and had been scrambling with post-printing details for Aurora Teardrops the previous two weeks. One scramble was finalizing the files and materials for the reproductions of Jane's paintings. That got done, and the 600+ prints needed for the editions will be completed when I get back next week. The details of the structure for the Deluxe binding are set (most of the experimenting had to do with how to attach the Plexiglass boards to the spine, and then how to secure the textblock in the case since there can't be traditional pastedowns). Both editions have been collated (the sheets folded & assembled into copies, ready for sewing); I just have to insert the prints. It all got done. I've narrowed down the cover paper options for the Collector's copies, but must now pick one. All in all, we remain on schedule to begin shipping copies in September. For now, leave me alone.


Putting Things Together

Those are three of the 34 full-page watercolors Jane Maru created as frontispieces for the Deluxe copies of Aurora Teardrops. Have started collating copies. The Deluxe binding structure has been tested & finalized; things are happening. Below is a simulacrum of the spread with Harold's score for "It's Steeper Near the Roses" opposite the first poems in the collection, showing how Jane's prints on semi-transparent vellum will overlay the text.