Saturday, November 29, 2014

the boxes have arrived

a heap of boxes, a pile of boxes, a gaggle of boxes, who knows what term should be used, but here they are, beautifully made by Barbara Schmelzer, all ready to be filled & posted out - well, the book printing is not yet done but will be & the book sewn by next Friday - and of course the first prospectus will go out with it - Miriam took the picture, and the boxes are sitting (standing, resting?) on the plate glass inking slab I use at the Press, and I rather like the reflected image of the boxes and the wording on them reaching down - the reflected picture frame to be seen in the glass is (tho you can't really see it here) is of Hermann Zapf's lovely Standard Lay of the Case, upon which he quotes Frederic Goudy : A letter is a symbol with a definite shape and significance, indicating a single sound or combination of sounds and providing a means, through grouping, for the visible impression of words, that is, of thoughts. It's not hard for me to imagine that this definition can also apply to the poem : A poem is a symbol with a definite shape & significance. . . 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

more on the printed prospectus

over the last week it's been interesting watching the mailing list firm up & shrink at the same time - the first new prospectus will be issued in about two weeks, and will "feature" my new poems Will there be words - there is a new letterpress LISTSERV in which the question of prospectuses has been raised, along with a hint of the almost moral imperative to use social media to 'get out there', and be part of the real world of people connectivity - my problem has been that I bought into that to some degree (tho I couldn't cope with the idea of Facebook, Twitter etc, and especially after I found LinkedIn to be completely useless, and not easy to withdraw from - what is undeniable is that sales receded as reliance on email increased - I don't doubt that I was never really adept at the electronic pump, but now it is time to return to a few basics : basics, I might say, that were simply how we did things before the computer worked its way into our lives -

also being planned now is a digitally-printed pamphlet as an Electio catalog - 2013 was the tenth year of the press, so Electio Editions, The first ten years will I hope be ready before xmas, and copies will go out a) with each book, and b) upon request - 

also being planned (have I already said that?) is a series of broadsides, choice bits of poetry or prose from the press's favourite writers - printed on the handpress - and on lovely handmade papers, in more than one color - and will use the display types I have which never quite get into the books - 60pt Centaur Titling, 60pt Gill Sans Shadow, 120pt (I aint kidding) Futura Light caps, 3 sizes of De Vinne Outline, 24pt Umbra, several sizes of Castellar, 30pt Zapf Civilite, 24pt roman & 24 Didot Greek of Open Kapitalen, 36pt Franklin Gothic Greek, 18pt Libra, 24pt Eusebius Open, 36pt Cochin Open, and a small collection of wood types - the poor things tend just to sit quietly in cases and put up with my neglect - but it's clear that only printing books will not allow me to use the full range of what I have here - here's a sample of the Cochin Open, before the sheets were flattened - 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

did you say 'Green Crackle'?

and here it is, made by hand at Cave Paper, Minneapolis - I have now used several papers made by them (Amanda Degener & Bridget O'Malley) for book covers - and no doubt I will continue to use them - mind you, when damped they respond to water as if an electric shock has passed thru them, bubbling up 'before your very eyes', but they do settle down & behave - patience is everything here, and putting the damped paper in a self-seal plastic bag with no weights on it at all, and leaving it for a couple of hours does the trick - anyway, the crackle is made this way (according to the Cave sample book) : Gelatin size is applied as a resist on flax paper. Then the sheet is submerged in an earthy green pigment - as many Cave papers are patterned (tho not regularly or geometrically) in some way, it means that every sheet is different and every cut from each sheet is different from other cuts from the same sheet - a nice randomness that I much admire and enjoy using - 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Reverting to the printed prospectus

I am changing the way I inform 'the world' about new books coming from Electio – I am reverting to the more traditional printed prospectus rather than the email notice  –  to this end, you will need to provide me with a postal address, and electronic notices will no longer be issued - but I will continue to post news about fresh books here on the blog - 

in part this is necessitated because my email list has grown 'like topsy' over the last several years, but that growth has been accompanied with a fall in sales rather than an increase - but the printed prospectus provides a sample of my printing & sense of design - they will be printed on nice paper in at least 2 colors, and printed on the handpress as the books are - so each one is a small taster of the book to come - 

NOTE : this will not apply to Standing Order customers, who will receive a copy of the prospectus with each copy of the books –

Sunday, November 16, 2014

New book on its way

the new book, Will there be words, is now well into production - three sheets out of the five to be printed are done - the above photo (as usual, taken by Miriam) shows some of the images spread out to dry - the edition will be 26 copies with 22 for sale - the paper is handmade Magnani damped for printing on the Albion (being used as a drying rack in the photo) - and the type is Monotype Dante thruout - bookbinder Barbara Schmelzer in New South Wales is making the boxes for this edition, and I'll post a photo of that as it arrives - the soft cover is Green Crackle made by Cave Paper in Minneapolis - the images, two in the book, are made using brass rules, a good collection I acquired over twenty years ago and have barely used - a nice thing about them is that they were clearly used for a lot of trade jobbing work and are no longer quite straight flat slabs of solid color when printed - that is, they have character (which is better than saying that they show signs of wear & tear, or are damaged etc - but it means that with each pull on the press, the little marks on the surfaces of the rules are the same from print to print - and one can then decide whether their arrangement is what one is happy with or whether they might be shifted around - for me, this is a new prospect for the appearance of tiny details from a surface altered by time & chance -