Bed's Too Big...

Saw this in a local "emporium." Caught my eye because book presses aren't often seen around here, and also because the parts seems so out of proportion from each other: why is the base so much bigger than the platen?At first I wondered if it was a Frankenstein's monster, with maybe just the platen being original and the rest ginned up in a metal shop. But there's (faded) scrollwork on the frame, it all looks legit. Why two colors, and why is that base so big? It adds so much weight without apparent purpose. The platen can accommodate at best a small quarto. I'm wondering if it's a copy press, and the larger base is for spreading out (say) a folio document, to be copied one side at a time? Dunno. (But speaking of copy presses, check this out; what every well heeled gent needs...) If anyone wants more photos or info, don't panic: this will be in the shop for a long time, because they've priced it at C$1,295. Good luck with that.


Finally have another batch of Aurora Teardrops (Collector issue) ready to ship out. The cover paper is Guarro laid, from the huge c.1960s stash I've been working my way through. I've never had a use for this yellow sheet before, but it was perfect for Aurora. The paper is quite hard, which makes it ideal for covering boards. It also took the painting treatment well.

Each sheet was individually painted (I use that term loosely) in a two-stage process. First, a sheet was thoroughly soaked in water, and laid out on an acrylic board. As much surface water was retained/sustained as possible. Then metallic gold ink mixed with thinner was dripped on the sheet. Because oil and water don't mix, the gold ink flowed around in random patterns. Then the sheets were dried (that takes about a day), soaked a second time, and sprinkled with metallic bronze acrylic paint diluted in water. The area covered with gold ink repelled the water-based paint, resulting in a two-tone "marbled" effect.