29 May 2012

June will be a busy month

The paper has arrived from ArtPaper and Paper Mojo for my Cold Moon Press printing and binding commission. So Memorial Day was catching up on sleep in the morning and cutting paper in the afternoon. The heavier cover paper is under weight right now, flattening out after being coiled up in a tube for mailing. This week, I will begin printing the type that is already set. The deadline to have finished printing and binding 50 booklets is July 1. Here we go!

Is it ironic to reference a URL with antique letterpress?

22 May 2012

August in Asheville

For the past couple years, Ladies of Letterpress have been putting together an annual conference in Asheville, North Carolina: the Ladies of Letterpress Conference. I've wanted to go each time, but I just can't get the time or money together to make that road trip. This year's theme: "Use It or Lose It: Preservation and Innovation in Letterpress Printing." So many exciting speakers and presses and printers, including Abigail Rorer of Lone Oak Press (sadly, her prize-winning, limited edition Mimpish Squinnies is sold out!) and Harold Kyle, owner and founder of Boxcar Press. There is always so much more to be learned about letterpress printing and it would be wonderful to dwell in such strange and familiar company for a while. I can always hope for next year. 

The city itself seems to be a hub of printing and book arts activity. There's:
It's definitely a city I need to spend a week in (or more).

15 May 2012

Commission from Cold Moon Press

This is professional networking in action: a friend of a friend of mine (the lovely Annie) has a press (as in independent publishing company, not printing press) called Cold Moon Press. And it has a few books under its belt now. They publish fantasy, speculative fiction, horror: what some would call genre fiction, and what I would call fun reading. And I love their tagline: 

"In the light of a winter's night, you'll find Cold Moon Press.
Read tales of the suspenseful, the magical, the chilling.
Curl up under a warm blanket, brew a cup of tea, 
and save the longest nights of the year for our books."

Recently, Cold Moon Press contacted me to consult about a possible project: excerpt booklets for distributing at small press conferences and the like. She wanted something with more visual impact than the laser-printed, staple-bound work that she'd seen handed out by other presses. My reply was that letterpress printing, hand-binding and quality materials make all the difference. Because they do.

Carved linoleum printing block
So Cold Moon Press has commissioned me to print and bind these excerpt booklets/catalogs of the books they currently offer. I am so excited! The first step was to figure out how to print their logo. Laser printing is the last resort. Photopolymer plates can get expensive. So I decided to try my hand at carving another linocut. I think they add a bit more character to the printing process and the finished product, and they are the least expensive route to letterpress printing a custom image. CMP's logo was designed and drawn by one of the press's leading authors, Vonnie Winslow Crist. And, lucky for me, it was a black and white image with a (fairly) simple design. Although I must admit, the tree branches and roots gave me a pretty hard time. This is certainly the most complex image that I have attempted to carve so far. But I am happy with the results. And, more importantly, CMP is! So, with that ready to go and the text to be printed in hand, it's time to start setting some type.