An occasional newsletter

News on progress on forthcoming books from the Press.
Hinton Charterhouse, Bath, UK

 St George's Day 2006


recent progress on
Henry James Sat Here

Nine poems on Siena by Anne Coon with images by Kurt Feuerherm

Publication expected in May 2006

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

I had always planned April as the month for making real inroads into the production of this title and things have been going well.

If you received the last newsletter you might remember that it initially looked as if magnets were going to find a way into the binding of this book! In the event, following more discussions with Simon Haigh, we decided that the well-known KISS principle (keep it simple, stupid) should apply and the book will now be a simple zig-zag held in a Japanese-style binding. Simple but effective. In early April I visited Brian Settle at Woolnough Bookbinding and we discussed the binding in sufficient detail for him to prepare a dummy.

I printed the texts of the poems a few weeks ago: 14pt Octavian in a pale sage green, pressed into the 225gsm Somerset watercolour paper. Each sheet is a landscape A3. On the right hand edge a narrow fold will provide a hinge with the next sheet in the zig-zag, with the remainder of the sheet then folded down in half to give two slightly-narrower-than-A4 pages, onto one of which I printed the poems. In a second run I printed the titles in black, under the poems - it can feel a little over-the-top winding a thousand sheets through the press just to put one or two words on each!

I was reminded once again that no text is ever perfect. I always interleave printed sheets with other sheets in order to prevent set-off (where ink on one sheet gets onto the back of the sheet on top of it). As it happened, when printing this new book I was using as interleaving some sheets from a proof of The Fell Revival which we published in 2000. Whilst waiting for the ink to even out on the rollers I idly read one of the pages ... and noticed a blatant typo, and on checking it in the final version found it had escaped everyone's notice. :-(

All of the letterpress for Anne Coon's poems has now been done, leaving just the title and colophon pages and spine labels to do. I wanted the poem/image pairs to be uninterrupted when the ends of the zig-zag are brought together to form a circle - it makes a great way to display the book and its contents (have a look at the pictures on my website). The Japanese binding is like a portfolio with two full-width, fold-over flaps holding the zig-zag, and the two flaps are the perfect places for the title and colophon pages which therefore become part of the binding rather than part of the book. Something for the bibliographers to worry about. The flaps are held in place by small toggles.

I have started printing Kurt Feuerherm's vibrant images onto the printed sheets and, as I write, I have nearly forty complete sets now ready. It's a slow business with each image taking several minutes to print and every sheet having to be hand-fed, so I tend to keep the Epson 2100 printer chuntering away whenever I am working at my PC (like now). I get through ink cartridges at a tremendous rate and at 12 (US$20) a pop it's a bit scary but the results are really worth it. I keep careful records of how many cartridges I get through to produce how many sets of images so that I can order the necessary number of each of the seven different colours that are loaded up: matte black, light black (!), cyan, light cyan, magenta, light magenta, and yellow. (There goes another light cyan.)

One of the other things to be set and printed is of course an announcement which I hope to get done before June. Meanwhile, if you are interested in the title, do let us know - the edition will be of just ninety-five copies and only sixty of those will be for sale. You can find details at our website - click on the 'plans' button on the left when you get there. The prices there are still indicative but in the right area. I don't anticipate an increase.


a note about
A current exhibition

'Cover to Cover - a fusion of Art and Text'

The Royal Birmingham Society of Arts
Birmingham, England
26 April - 13 May 2006

The Contemporary Craft Fair
Bovey Tracey, England
9-11 June 2006

Oak Knoll Book Fest
New Castle, Delaware
7-8 October 2006

An exhibition of six UK fine presses is now underway at The Royal Birmingham Society of Arts and we're delighted to be one of them. This sort of event is relatively unusual in the UK so it's good to have this opportunity of reaching a potential new audience. Also exhibiting are Tern Press, Old Stile Press, Inky Parrot Press, Fleece Press, Gwasg Gregynog, and a number of book artists from the University of the West of England.

There is an Open Day on Saturday 6 May from 1030am to 1700, and there are demonstrations and workshops running between 1100 and 1300 and between 1400 and 1600.


click to step to the next newsletter

click to see an index of our newsletters

Copyright © Martyn Ould 2006.