An occasional newsletter about forthcoming books and events

April 2023

In this newsletter . . .

news about Washi memories

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progress on
Washi memories

formerly known as 'The last papermakers of Fukushima'

Planned for late Summer 2023

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Yes, we've changed the title of this book. A little less dramatic, but the book still tells the story of the papermakers in the Fukushima Prefecture of Japan, in particular in the village of Kamikawasaki on the Abukuma river, whose numbers have fallen from the hundreds to a handful.

We've been asked if there will be a de luxe edition, but our reply has been that we've decided to throw everything into the standard copies: samples of a dozen different papers made by Kamikawasaki papermakers, thirty photographs from the 1950s with accompanying texts, compliment slips of two papermakers, Japanese calligraphy by Yoko Hashimoto, suminagashi by Sarah Amatt in the binding, a foreword by renowned paper historian Sidney E. Berger, . . .

The kozo papers that will be tipped in are three benibana-zome: papers dyed with safflower; three ai-zome: papers dyed in different shades of indigo; a karumi-zome: a crushed paper dyed with walnut; two kigami: pure kozo papers, one of which is at least thirty years old; a sujigami: a paper with flecks of black bark; and two papermakerís compliment slips. Here they are as they arrived from Japan:

Author and paper artist Eleanor Burkett has finalised the text and typesetting has started. I've two full cases of the 14pt Fournier italic, enough for about five pages, so there will be a very long cycle of setting, printing, and dissing. And yes, my upper case is below my lower case.

Using print-outs from my digital mock-up I've now built a complete paper mock-up of the entire book, which will guide the setting and later the printing. I'll be printing just two pages at a time and I need to know which text goes where on which sheets; many sheets will go through the press four times, adding a second colour for headings and picture captions in particular.

The 18-ton delivery lorry only made it to the end of the drive with our pallet of paper. So we had to carry the 5,000 sheets of Matrix Fine Laid ordered from John Purcell Paper back to the house. Heavy stuff, paper.

We're hoping for publication late summer, early autumn. There will be an edition of 150 copies, each of 118pp. As for price, at the moment it's hovering around £190.

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