Mushroom Surprise

It's been years since we did a secret book. The most recent was produced at the end of last year, but we couldn't tell anyone until it reached the person for whom it had been made, Atsushi Fukui. Today we received word from him that it (all of them, actually) arrived safely in Japan. 

Last year, when David Sylvian asked Fukui to create some incidental drawings for possible inclusion in the "Uncommon Deities" broadside, Fukui sent nine mushrooms. Only two ended up being used in the broadside, and it seemed a waste for the other seven to be left unused. So, we struck upon the idea of printing all nine in a small book, which we titled Basidia, and giving the entire edition (just 10 copies) to Fukui, to do with whatever he will, in thanks for his contribution to the project.

The book (4 x 6.5 inches) was printed on sheets of Reg Lissel's HM Text paper. What text there is (just the title page and colophon) is set in Dante. But all we had was white, which needed toning down to suit the book's content, so we tea stained it. We'd initially thought we'd have to dry it down after staining, and then redamp for printing; but looking at the stack of stained sheets after they'd pressed for a bit, we decided to just push ahead with the printing, and all worked out beautifully.

The book was printed eight-up (work & turn) on full sheets, then trimmed for binding. It was sewn in three signatures (integral endsheets) and put into a case made from Reg Lissel's heavier, colored papers, and lined with thin card.