Sunday, October 11, 2015

the book

my first letterpress book
a real edition
for my friends who say to me
"edition, edition, edition"
 samples
 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.
(sampling)
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.
november.
 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, 
unfolding.

13 comments:

Alice said...

Congratulations! How perfectly beautiful.

Mo Crow said...

such beauty, love all the details !

Velma Bolyard said...

alice, thank you, twice!
mo, it's been such a long time happening i felt you all deserved to read the details!

ronnie said...

oooo I think I'm in love --- if only the exchange rate was more attractive (its nowhere near parity at the moment) I'd be flashing my hand in the air and grabbing for one of these beauties ---- these are delicious and inspiring ---- thanks for the lovely lovely blogpost xxxxxxx

Barbara Casillas said...

Such an amazing process, along with the variety of flora used!

Suzanna said...

It's truly beautiful, and I love reading all about how it came to be...

Judy said...

So simply and superbly lovely - you and the book!

Velma Bolyard said...

ronnie, thank you and i wish i had some say over the exchange rates
barbara, yes, and i left out MANY plants...i don't have my complete list completed!
suzanna, yes, i thought everyone should know the whole process...it did take a long time!
judy, thank you. it is a good book, i hope. i envision some brave soul drawing into it, with their own mapping...

jude said...

the story was a nice addition.

Velma Bolyard said...

jude, it seemed that you all (who saw bits along the way) should know more.

Fiona Dempster said...

Simply stunning V - huge congratulations! I must admit to a minor smile when I saw that you too could pop letters in upside down or in the wrong place - one of my favourite foibles which always makes me smile when I see it. They pop out at you tho so are easily rectified I think. What a labour of love - every element works together magnificently and holds as a whole...yay you!

Velma Bolyard said...

fiona, absolutely! i thought of you when i posted that photo! i was flummoxed when mark showed me the typos. i did NOT anticipate them!

Velma Bolyard said...

oh, and fiona, i did the typesetting, so it's all my fault!

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