Cut It Out

Sorry for the delayed post; it's a holiday week up here. We'll keep it simple with just a few shots from Barbara's upcoming book, Mrs Delany Meets Herr Haeckel. A completed set of sheets stopped by the studio before getting shipped off to Claudia's bindery. 

The sense of depth & shadow that Barbara achieved with the cut-outs in the book are stunning. One page, which precedes a new section, yields an unexpected effect when turned, almost like a prism, where the light strikes the underlying page. We spent a few minutes playing with just that page!

Binding work proceeds. Final details about the book will be going out to our booksellers soon. If you're a collector interested in the book, get in touch with one of HM's booksellers now to reserve one of the 25 copies.


The Story of 11 Small Books

The regular copies of XI LXIVmos will be shipping soon. Deluxe copies showed up here a few weeks ago but I was swamped by Sunblind Highway, and waited till it was done to see how Sarah Creighton's deluxe bindings turned out. Not a surprise that she did a beautiful, meticulous job on the bindings.

The book's 14 signatures were elegantly rounded & backed, and put into a German case binding with the thinnest possible boards. Each copy contains five samples taken from four of the Bromers' books: a complete (4-pg) copy of Henry Morris' prospectus for his V-109 (1978), trimmed at the margins to fit; a page from The Remarkable Story of Chicken Little (1979); two pages from Edward Gorey's Eclectic Abecedarium (1982); and a page from the maybe/probably not Shakespeare Shall I Die? Shall I Fly (1986).

All of the pages are hinged to semi-transparent Japanese paper, as they were too small to simply be bound in, and I didn't want the blank versos that would result from attaching them to a sheet of the text paper. With the Japanese paper, the spreads are not interrupted.

In addition to the sample pages, these deluxe copies all feature original calligraphy by Francesca Lohmann, Claudia Cohen's studio assistant. I knew of her work as an artist and printmaker, but became aware of her calligraphy only just before starting XI LXIVmos. As a result, we will be collaborating on an entire ABC book of her original calligraphy over the next year, to be bound by Claudia. Details to follow...

Sarah's boxes for the deluxe copies is covered in an elegant contrasting red cloth, lined with a dark gray buckram. All in all, a good project to get HM up & running again, with fun people involved, most of all Anne Bromer.

All of HM's copies of XI LXIVmos - deluxe and regular - are gone. The Bromers may still have a deluxe, and definitely have some of the regulars.


Harold Budd's "Sunblind Highway"

Harold's show in Vancouver last Saturday night has been getting resoundingly enthusiastic reactions. It was given an unexpected twist when passport problems prevented Jane Maru from participating as planned. In her place, local singer/performer Veda Hille stepped in on a moment's notice and gave the Aurora Teardrops poems her own (essentially spontaneous, since she had barely a day with them) interpretation.

While all this last minute excitement was happening, I was pushing to get copies of the sampler Sunblind Highway sewn up. Harold signed the (still unbound) Publisher's copies just before sound check on Saturday (which is when he also met Veda for the first time).

The Author's copies (numbers 21-100 from the edition of 100, sewn in a wrap of green Guarro mouldmade paper) were offered for sale during the show at the special price of just $40. The 21 Publisher's copies will be distributed through HM's usual booksellers.

The Publisher's copies are printed on Arches wove, and sewn into a handmade paste paper wrap. These copies also feature a semi-transparent usu kichi jacket on which the title has been printed and registered to exactly overlay the title on the underlying wrap.

The Publisher's copies also feature a special extra print of Harold's frontis arabesque drawing, also printed on semi-transparent Japanese paper. The image is repeated in reverse on the recto of the sheet, using the same off-set technique that William Everson used for the prints in his monumental Granite/Cypress publication. Like the jacket, this extra print is sewn into the book to exactly overlay the frontis.

So, now the world has an inexpensive introduction to Harold's beautiful not-quite poetry (his phrase), and HM moves on to the real work of producing Aurora Teardrops. I'll post info on where/how remaining copies of Sunblind Highway can be purchased.


Harold's recent gigs has sparked awareness of, & interest in his poetry. As a result we've decided to add a second issue to Aurora Teardops:

The deluxe edition will feature an original painted frontis (i.e. unique to each copy) by Jane Maru, and a number of prints interleaved through the text. This edition, limited to 26 lettered copies, will be custom bound by Claudia Cohen.

A limited edition of 50 numbered copies, with just two of Jane's prints, will also be issued, bound at HM in paper over boards.


sunblinded by the light

Monday's not over yet, so I'm still on deadline...

kids, look: it got done. Was a bit brutal from a production perspective - 10 straight days at the handpress - but we're on schedule. Today was recuperate & prep. Tomorrow (Tues) we print the covers, Wed they get sewn up (with help from Reg the Paper). All's kool. Sounds like this Saturday's gig, where Sunblind Highway makes its debut, is near to sell-out: everyone within commuting distance, make haste!

fyi, image above is what the half-title looks like, shone thru a light, in a punch-drunk printing fog (i.e. not what it really looks like)...


Halfway Down the Highway

Halfway through printing the Sunblind Highway sampler of Harold Budd's poems. It includes three poems from the upcoming Aurora Teardrops, one being the title poem. So, Sunblind Highway contains the first publication of the the poem "Aurora Teardrops"! That'll drive cataloguers and collectors crazy.

The sheets shown above are from the Publisher's 20 special copies printed on Arches Wove; the remaining 80 are on Somerset Book, an English all-cotton sheet. I'm running a total of 130 sheets through the press, to allow for wastage & my general boneheadedness. The white-on-white paste papers that the printed sheets are lying on will be used for the wrap of the Publisher's copies. (The designs were created with titanium white by Reg Lissel, on sheets of all-cotton paper made by him.) The Author copies will be sewn into a forest green sheet of Guarro laid paper, with the title printed in gold on the front.

Must push on. Takes three days to complete a sheet, plus there are the covers to print, & then everything has to be collated & sewn. I probably should have started a week earlier...


Sunblind Starts

Starting the year off by making amends for the horrorshow that has been HM's Web site for the past few years. Long overdue for tearing down & reconstructing. Got a simple replacement in place over the holidays. Much of the verbiage has been scrubbed, & the images are of a more consistent quality. Probably a few bugs still lurking, but they'll be run down over the next week.

With that done, we sink our teeth in Harold Budd's mini-retrospective chapbook, Sunblind Highway: 16 pages, 6 x 10 inches, sewn into a printed paper wrap. Spent today tearing down paper. The edition will be 100 copies, 20 Publisher's copies on Arches Wove (the small paper stack in the middle of the image above) and 80 on Somerset Book (larger stack at right), all printed damp. I'll print 125 pieces to ensure I have 100 I like. The blotters for damping are clean & ready to go. Nothing else to do. May as well get started. Stop talking about it. Just get it done.

Brief yet insightful Q&A with Harold over at The Kitchen's blog


Deluxe copies of XI LXIVmos started going out to our booksellers last week...


A Sharp End for the Year

I'm on vacation so don't expect a lot of blogging. Couple of sharp Xmas highlights:

Handmade Merchant & Mills draper's scissors, perfect for the bindery. Beautiful. But being a custom enterprise, M&M should invest a little more in the printing of their wrapping sheets & labels. Get some letterpress happening. I'm sure there's someone with a press in Sheffield.

One of Deejo's elegant pocket knives. I covet minimalist pocket knives, i.e. ones with the fewest possible parts, to slide unobtrusively into one's trouser pocket. The Deejos get about as spare as possible without being a fixed blade. Might get one of the larger models to use for slitting paper...

Happy New Year. If all goes well, HM will have a new Web site by the start of 2016. Only about a decade overdue. I'll also have started printing Harold's chapbook Sunblind Highway. His Vancouver gig rapidly approaches!