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 her has at Greenboathouse Press, including many that's 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.
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.
AND ANOTHER THING
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...
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.
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.
So this is the next week foretold in last week's post, and we are indeed printing the very last sheet for Aurora Teardrops. It includes the first page of David Sylvian's introduction, and the title page. Tomorrow we'll print the second color on the title page & that'll be that. Wuhoo.
I think all of the discounted pre-publication copies available through Books Tell You Why have been reserved, but copies of both editions (at issue price) can still be reserved.
The first Aurora Teardrops newsletter, with details for reserving copies, went out last week. A couple of the copies offered at a discounted prepublication price remain: contact email@example.com for information. If you would like a copy of the newsletter, send an email to us (HM [at] heavenlymonkey.com) with Aurora Teardrops in the subject line.
Production proceeds. Printing will be completed - dei gratia - by the end of next week.