An occasional newsletter
News on progress on forthcoming books from the Press
Hinton Charterhouse, Bath, UK

August 2002

recent progress on
Jump of the Manta Ray

A poem in Spanish by Carmen Boullosa, translated by Psiche Hughes, with images by Philip Hughes

to be published 1st October 2002

read the previous news item on this title
read the next news item on this title

Inspired by the sight of a giant manta ray leaving the water, Carmen Boullosa has written an epic and erotic poem for which Psiche Hughes has prepared an English translation. The two texts will run in parallel through the book, interspersed with 31 images by Philip Hughes, and the book will be accompanied by full size giclée prints of a further 22 large images.

In a crescendo of proofing and printing, Jump of the Manta Ray nears completion, enough for us to announce a firm publication date. A solander box in red cloth will hold the book and a portfolio. The text - printed in Will Carter's sinewy Octavian - is complete, printed letterpress on 175gsm Somerset paper, making a handsome book of about 340mm (13.4 inches) high and 300mm (11.8 inches) wide. Twenty large images have been printed on an Iris giclée printer on 330gsm Somerset Velvet paper: they come on separate sheets, signed and numbered in the portfolio. Two other images, also giclée printed, act as frontis- and tail-piece for the book. Thirty-one smaller giclée printed images appear throughout the text. All the images are listed in an index locating them to the site where Hughes took the original photograph, from Scotland to Antarctica. We have used one of Claire Maziarczyk's bold paste papers on the boards of the book and the portfolio, each of which has a grey spine. The edition will consist of 60 copies of which 50 will be for sale. Each copy is signed by the poet, translator, artist and printer.

Our original intention had been to construct a book that alternated text and large images, and to test that idea we had a dummy made. Mixing the heavy (280gsm) paper for the large images with the lighter (175gsm) paper for the text meant a book with many 'guards' at the spine, and, given a collation that also required a large number of blank pages, there seemed no way to make it work. Reluctantly at first, Philip Hughes and I decided on the more conventional format of a book of text and an accompanying portfolio of images, though the book still contains those 31 small images throughout the text, complementing individual lines in the poem. However, we have been won over to the result.

It has also proved very interesting seeing what the giclée technology can do, in particular on really quite light papers (the small images are printed on 115gsm paper slips that are then tipped into the book). Philip has been working from images printed on his own equipment which of course rendered colours in its own way, and we set Steve Gill at Giclée Editions the task of matching Philip's vision of the colours on the Iris printer on the three different weights of Somerset paper. Certain colours proved tricky but all the problems were overcome and we are delighted with the results.

As we noted in an earlier newsletter, the Monotype Octavian that we are using as the typeface for the text was only ever cut in 14pt by Monotype. As a result, where we have needed larger sizes for headings and titles we have used blocks made from print-outs of the relevant text prepared using the digital version - another case of combining old and new technologies: the type for the text was all cast from digital copy by Harry McIntosh and was never keyboarded. In fact I have been able to prepare a 'paste-up' of the entire book on my PC right from the beginning, without any metal being cast.

Our timescale for production has been geared to meet an important deadline: the book and associated images are being shown at an exhibition of Hughes's work at the Sherman Galleries in Sydney, Australia, between 31 October and 23 November 2002.

A further exhibition is being held at the Drill Hall Gallery, in Canberra, Australia, between 7 November and 15 December 2002. We hope to have news of an exhibition in New York too at some time in the future.

visit our website

At our website you can pick up a pdf of the index page showing thumbnails of all the images in Jump of the Manta Ray, as well as one of the large images.

Forthcoming exhibitions

News of two major exhibitions at which the Press is showing

The Oak Knoll Book Fest

The London Artists Book Fair

We will be exhibiting at the Oak Knoll Book Fest at New Castle, Delaware, on Saturday 5th October and Sunday 6th October. If you are in the New York, Washington or Philadelphia area, this has to be worth the trip to see the work of the fine presses who congregate, and to listen to the talks each morning. New Castle is a wonderful venue and it is one of the highlights of the year for us to fly over for the weekend, taking in some extra days for a little tourism while we are there.

Closer to home, for the first time we are exhibiting at the London Artists Book Fair, in its new venue, the London Institute at its new site next to Tate Britain. The Fair runs over three days: 25th-27th October.

We shall have Jump of the Manta Ray on show at both events.

click to step to the next newsletter

click to see an index of our newsletters

Copyright © Martyn Ould 2002.