Sunday, October 11, 2015

the book

my first letterpress book
a real edition
for my friends who say to me
"edition, edition, edition"
 to see what works
(one of the first drafts-many typos, some words got changed!)
how it unfolded:
i wanted to work with mark mcmurray
friend and magician/archivist/printer
essential to november
who once upon a time, long, long ago,
called me up after seeing my book Winter Papers
(a sample book of botanical papers) 
in the collection at SLU's Owen D Young Library,
 and came to visit
bringing me a gift of one of his letterpress books.
we've know each other 
for years, and on occasion
i help him with a book
(like making day lily paper for his edition of The Tempest)
or he helps me with a book
and i go to the special collections where he presides
with an assistant called paul (also very cool).
they let me look at the special books.
mark used some of my  earlier ecoprints in his ADIRONDACK SUTRA.
so i asked him if we could print a "simple" project 
a one piece of paper, LARGE paper, book,
printed on two sides
a meander/map fold book
making a meandering map of autumn.
 figuring out layout
he said yes, what was my text? 
i wrote that poem, actually i had written that poem, 
(sometimes it seems that i only write about november) 
and i ecoprinted 50 or so half sheets of arches velin (text wove)
which took some time, 
in fact all winter,
and brought them to the press.
he had me setting type and making errors and fixing them.
(he fixed most)
printing on a VERY old press posed some challenges,
but it was also great pleasure
here you see the large sheet folded down to half the original size
except when mistakes, a couple big ones, happened.
then there was that big stack,
we folded and tore down.
  i sewed up map envelopes,
die cut (on the press) moons
27 holes on each side
punched with the awl i made(well over 2,500 holes in all) 
green, blue, brown (and two purple) with linen thread. 
after he cut lovely moons in them
and here they are. 
what began in march
was intended to be complete for the summer solstice, 
was complete on the autumnal equinox, 
and edition of the odd prime number: 41.
and now are ready for sale.
i have 22 available,
(mark and priscilla juvelis get some)
three with some stitching on the paper
and two with stitched on titles and/or colophons.
they are $225.00.
you can purchase from me
using the SHOP button at the top of the page.
(or from the press or eventually from priscilla.)
the flora in these maps include: 
berries from staghorn sumac, wild grapes, blueberries, black raspberries, rose hips, juneberries, leaves from maple, sumac, cherry, buckthorn, rose, aspen, ginko, black walnut, apple, flowers from black eyed susan, bergamot, dandelion, hawkweed, rose, petunia, aster, goldenrod, hibiscus, lilies, st johns wort, milkweed and many more, 
a few lichens and fungi, 
ferns of many kinds with their fruiting bodies. 
hard well water and occasional pickle jar leavings were the brew licquor 
and metals of copper, steel, iron, aluminum, brass, nickel, and many old graters and tin lids helped the pigments come home and stay put 
(with a few clamps and string).
 a wet sheet, 

Sunday, October 4, 2015


the edition is done
41 copies.
 i will post the details soon
 place the button on my sales page
and offer them to you,
dear readers
for sale soon.
(i've been swamped.)

Saturday, September 26, 2015

on the edge of autumn

 it's colder
and we have to light the furnace
if only to take the edge off the cold.
i hate doing this.
but this year it's remarkably late in coming,

 we're on the edge
and soon the birds will be gluttons
stripping berries and grapes.
here at home.
 and over at the new place i'm also calling home
 i went walking over west
toward the gorge
made by rocky ridge and trout lake drainage
and found a microworld to squint my evening-strained eyes.
mosses and lichens inhabit this small zone
little red caps always please me
 where did the small waterfall go?
the gorge?
 such a dry summer and fall so far
that i came right into the streambed before i noticed
i was in the gorge
but there was no water music.
water barely moving at all.
 this is so strange.
i could easily step across
when normally, well i've thought of building a coracle
or, more likely, buying a wee kayak
just to get out on the pond. 
where's that pond?
 so i found a gift of rosiness
 the thing just would not stay still
as the night wind blew up

 the next day i found bounty for printing,
and had grand results.
autumnal equinox.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

x o x o

my amazing nephew rich macdonald took this photo this summer
he runs the natural history center in bar harbor maine.
what he doesn't know (yet) is that i've lifted his photo
just to show you all
a little sweet bit of mark making.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

other edges, rich as usual

 the last evening walk here i noticed a few things.
 i love this deep duff,
where humus is built, and the creeping 
and the many-leggeds 
 further on down the road i looked back
to see a long me
stretching across the hay meadow
 right before i came to its edge.
and again i thought,
how rich this edge is.
thinking of the ecotone that holds
huge fecundity,
the very opposite of monoculture.
even the color is beautiful.

 having just made milkweed paper
and having seen a few monarch butterflies this year 
(thank goodness)
i give you pods, though some have already burst.
 i continued on to find these bracts almost 
grey dogwood berries
food of birds including woodcock
who nested close, 
i saw them many times this summer.
sun is usually setting on my way home
and the warm weather that night 
didn't warn (exactly) that in two nights we would be
on the edge of frost.
they say it might come tonight
over ten days later than normal.
a speedy whitetail visitor escaped 
my lens
 on saturday we went for maple syrup
and found this
 at home i went through the mail
 and found some nice things,
tom and rima's little thank you book 
for helping with crowdsourcing hedgespoken
shown here with the cloth book i'm making
 and the catalog from 
dorothy caldwell's exhibition
i love these marks
 i just called the art gallery of peterborough
and they most graciously posted this to me.
and i found out that my credit card had issues,
as we say,
those issues made it impossible to use again
the charges were dropped.
finishing up the odd ball copies
the ones i played with a little
 we are almost ready to launch the book
i had some stitching to do on a few
 so a few of them will have mendings
we decided that was ok. 
even good.
november, a map is almost ready,

Thursday, September 17, 2015


 i found that there was a bit
of wet pulp about myself
last saturday
that i removed and placed on the dashboard.
a reminder of who i am
what i do.
i am a papermaker.
 i used to remove pulp
from the tiny hairs on my forearms
in the line at the grocery store
or at the library, searching for a good book.
 i am also a teacher, 
and the above jiggly photo was taken on my way to work
one morning this week.
below is recorded the time and temperature.
we've had a week of very warm weather 
for september.
and that little piece of paper pleases me.
that evening i walked and looked at the light
which is going so quickly now
but the colors, like the temperatures,
have been slow to change.
but change it will.
and this is what i know,
despite me digging in my heels,

Sunday, September 13, 2015

glorious chaos

the glorious chaos that is 
a community papermaking project.
the energy was very, very good
 todd making milkweed paper
 esthela and todd looking carefully
and chief cook and organizer
sarah barber
the genius behind the planted poems project
(a collaborative arts project with the community and the university)
 hannah brought in some more pulp
leftover from drew matott's visit
and we added badger pulp to our vats
 abaca soaking, 
and a nepalese mould holding 3/4 inch 
of badger pulp
leftover from the week of public papermaking on campus
and at TAUNY.
 we had rain for the first time in ages
so we pressed sheets
and took them home to dry.
 next to the porch the ground is a little roughed up
that was my fiber garden
long ago
 the community got into it
and here's my little arnold grummer press
doing duty
(it's a lot easier
 to cart around than my iron book press)
my dear friend
sent me this
so sweet-i walk by my work table and see this
we had parent orientation thursday night
and the sky was dancing with the promise of rain
 before, though,
we had a foggy but clear morning
sparkling from the heavy dew
 and this is the wetland i travel through
on my way to school
 the air was charged with life
and light
 and so was i.
sunday, a little r & r 

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