An occasional newsletter about forthcoming books and events

April 2016


progress on
The Lost Colours of the Cyclades

We are now taking orders for copies of John Sutcliffe's new book

Taking orders!

read the previous news item on this title

We were so busy getting this book ready for the Manhattan Fine Press Book Fair (see below) that I have had no time to report on its progress to the same level of detail as I have with past titles. In fact the book is now printed and with the binders, and copies will shortly be ready for sale. Now is our chance to show some images of it.

Our original plan had been to print the text on another paper from the Magnani mill. We used their paper for The Colours of Rome and it was a delight to print on. It had a warm creamy colour but they also made a somewhat whiter sheet which we would have preferred for this book which has blue and grey as its underlying theme. So we were disappointed to discover at the last minute that the mill had ceased production. However, John Purcell at John Purcell Paper was in the process of sourcing a new paper from St Cuthbert's mill in Somerset, with the name Madrid Litho, again tending to white and with a similar texture. An order from us for the Cyclades book meant that a making of 140gsm weight was worthwhile and that is the paper we finally printed on.

Although John's text is not overly long, the use of two other colours in the book - a light blue and pale grey - meant printing a total of 48 formes, not a great many but time was running short if we were to have everything ready for the binders in time for one copy to be made for the Manhattan show. But these things cannot be rushed. More haste, less speed? Yes, as I realised when I had a 'galley malfunction' and pied one and a half pages of type, necessitating a call to Harry McIntosh at Speedspools who gallantly got the replacement type in the post to me within a couple of days.

The closure of the Magnani mill also meant that we had to look elsewhere for a suitable paper with which to make the 'paint-outs' which are so important in this book as in the Colours of Rome. Each paint-out consists of a large sheet - something over A4 - painted over with one of the twenty colours John identified in the Cyclades. The paints are water-based so we needed a paper that was suitably receptive but that would not cockle too much. After experimenting with a number of papers from different sources we finally chose 300gsm Fabriano Artistico in its hot-pressed form and began painting the 4,000 sheets required for the edition. This is something that John bravely undertook for The Colours of Rome but on this occasion, as he was water-colouring images for the de luxe copies, Angela and I undertook this gargantuan labour. Fortunately (or was it good planning?) alongside our new house we have a large store in which we can rig lines on which to dry the sheets in quantity.

Like The Colours of Rome, this new title has colour at its core. Standard copies take the form of the case-bound book presented within a sleeve to the inside of which is attached a portfolio of twenty large, individually hand-painted cards illustrating the representative colours that John found, together with a swatch card with colour chips of each. Within the book the coverage of each of the colours is accompanied by further hand-painted strips. All the colour paints used have been specially mixed to match John’s field records. The book itself is bound in full cloth that has been silk-screened with stripes in the colours of the Greek national flag. The sleeve is a simple case, bound in blue cloth with a spine label, and the portfolio attached to the inside is formed from a heavy grey paper.

So what does the new book look like? We hope these images of the standard edition will give some impression. For more, visit our website and look for the entry for the book where you can also view the de luxe edition.

Firstly, the book and its sleeve.

Secondly, a sample opening of the book.

And finally, the 'deck' of 'paint-outs' showing the twenty representative colours that John Sutcliffe identified in the Cyclades. These are contained in the portfolio attached to the inside of the rear board of the sleeve.

Each of the de luxe copies comes in a solander box bound in blue cloth with a spine label. It contains, as well as a standard copy of the book as described above, photographs of two advertisements for a major local paint supplier who operated in the islands in the nineteenth century, and the means to choose your own colour scheme for the front of a local café. For the latter, John prepared a line-drawing of the café which we then printed on a sheet of Arches Acquarelle; John in turn coloured the drawing in water-colours and we cut out those areas representing the walls and tympanum (it has a classical form) so that the coloured sheets beneath it are exposed. You simply juggle the colour sheets to find your ideal combination!

PLEASE NOTE that all the de luxe copies have now been reserved. If you have previously reserved a copy rest assured it will be on its way to you soon.

In summary:

There are 135 copies of the standard edition and 30 of the de luxe. The text has been printed letterpress in 14pt Monotype Perpetua, with headings in digital Steinantik. Six linocuts by John are scattered through the text. The text paper is 140gsm Madrid Litho from the Somerset mill. The page size is 315 mm by 225 mm. Standard edition copies are £185 (euro270, US$290) each. The de luxe copies were £350 (euro500, US$540) each.


our books will be on show at
The Private Press Today

An exhibition of twenty UK presses, transferred from the recent show at St Bride

30 April to 30 June 2016
Gordon Russell Design Museum
15 Russell Square, Broadway, Worcestershire WR12 7AP

I have always felt that books and furniture go together so it's a pleasure to see this about to happen at a forthcoming selling exhibition.

The Gordon Russell Design Museum in Broadway Worcestershire will be hosting an exhibition of private press books under the title ‘The Private Press Today’ which will features the fine printing of twenty presses that use a wide range of skills and techniques. It transfers from St Bride Library in London where it was presented by the St Bride Foundation in partnership with the Fine Press Book Association in autumn last year.

We will have on show (and for sale), tokonoma, Palladio's Homes, and Stockholm Reflections.

The exhibition is curated by Designer Bookbinders fellow Lester Capon and is sponsored by Bonhams. The exhibits will be displayed on the Gordon Russell furniture within the museum, offering visitors the opportunity to enjoy both the stunning printing work and the museum collection.


we will be at the
Design and Craft Fair at West Dean

Our first time at this prestigious fair

3-5 June 2016
West Dean Gardens
near Chichester

We're very pleased to have been accepted for this fair, and will be one of over 100 stands, but probably the only one with books! As such we find we have a certain novelty value at this type of event, though the downside is that we were once asked whether we could rebind a family bible and when we said we didn't do binding the question came 'well, what do you do?'

You can read more at the fair's website.



we were at the
Manhattan Fine Press Book Fair

. . . where we met old friends and made new

9 April 2016
Church of St. Vincent Ferrer
869 Lexington Ave at E. 66th St.
 New York

This is the third year this fair has been run but the first time we have exhibited there. It was an excellent busy day, and we had good sales, especially of the Cyclades book.

We had on show The Lost Colours of the Cyclades on its first public outing, tokonoma, Palladio's Homes, and Jump of the Manta Ray.


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Copyright © Martyn Ould 2016