Dennis Hall and Carol Manheim braved the dangers of the North when they drove up to Incline Press for a day last summer. Their efforts have born fruit in the latest edition of Parenthesis, the journal of the Fine Press Book Association, where a small article about the press includes pictures of the workshop which led one recent correspondent to write, ‘An encouraging antidote to those photographs of over-immaculate presses…”. We could have wished they had turned their eyes to the glory that is the Bow Street Community Garden; but we were pleased they seemed to enjoy their day. Thorsten Sjölin’s checklist of books printed since 1993 is appended for completists.
Filed under Books, Workshop
Pulling our annual New Year Book together is never straightforward. We’ve been greeting the New Year this way now for twenty years, and we can safely say that no two have been much alike. From the beginning the plan has been to find interesting content first, and fit it to whatever paper is about the place. So usually they have been printed on carefully stored off-cuts from books, and designed to minimize waste as well as to look nice. When all goes according to plan, they are printed in our break between Christmas and New Year, when we lay aside the current project and devote the week to this jeu d’esprit.
The content came easily this year: we were impressed with Vona Groarke’s poem as soon as we read it – high on the wall in the atrium at John Rylands Library (see the last post for the context), and were pleased to have her permission to publish it. At this time of year when we metaphorically archive the events and achievements of the past year and mentally prepare ourselves for the year to come, it seemed particularly apt.
Although we hope to print a large broadsheet version, printed in 12-point type, the poem makes a handsome 20th New Year Booklet. We found some Wookey Hole mould-made off cuts for the content, hand-set and printed the poem in Lectura type, and sewed the finished sheets into Murillo card covered with a decorated paper designed by Alan Drummond. To complete the whole we also made the envelopes to suit.
Although subscribers and Friends of the Press get copies in January, we do have some copies available for purchase from the website. Booklet and envelope come together in a plain brown wrapper.
With everyone from Eye Magazine to Birds of Ohio talking about Enid Marx, her designs, and her prominence in the fabulous exhibition at Compton Verney (through 15 December 2013) we thought it might be fun to show a few of her illustrations from our 1996 chapbook Who Killed Cock Robin. These tiny wood engravings, printed from the wood, re-use the blocks she cut for Nursery Rhymes (Chatto & Windus, 1939). They make a amusing contrast with the large linocuts she produced for Marco’s Animal Alphabet, yet for all the difference in size, they share her trademark energetic cutting and her ability to use simple black and white contrast to good effect.
We printed this at Marco’s request, so that she could give them to her many nieces and nephews. But there are no limits on an edition when you’re doing proper chapbook printing, so we printed LOTS and then bound these baby chapbooks in brightly coloured paper with poor cock robin printed in red on the cover. Graham vividly remembers sewing copies on the train as he made his way back to London to deliver the finished product, trying to keep from stabbing himself with the needle as the train jerked and swayed! Copies are still available on the website; we think they make lovely gifts.
Incline Press dogs Red and Skipper joined in the festivities, or perhaps we should say the ‘presstivities’ at Presstival, the Whittington Press Open Day on Saturday September 8th, when they found themselves ribbon-winners at the annual Village Fete Dog Show. Artist Nick Wonham (illustrator of our latest book Steel Horizon) and his family took Red and Skipper to the Fete Dog Show, where they won two ‘Special Mentions’, the first for ‘best brace’ (that’s a pair), the second another Special for Red who was one of the Dogs the Judges Would Most Like to Take Home. They also vied for the Happiest Dog: Skipper is often morose, but happy-go-lucky Red sulked at being asked to perform his happiness, so no ribbons there. Red received another knock-back in the Most Appealing Eyes competition. The judge informed Petra and Lily that Red had the smallest eyes she had ever seen, ‘even smaller than the small dogs!’ Afterwards we thought up a few cutting responses, but needless to say, Red lost out in that one too.
Still, we think they did quite well in this first attempt at the dog-show circuit. We’ve got our eyes on Crufts. When the next book is finished, maybe?
Earlier this year, performance poet Claire Robertson, visiting to discuss a new book project, took a 360 degree turn around Incline Press with camera in hand. The press is on, the radio is playing, we must have been out walking the dogs! The dramatic synchronized music is just one of those bits of serendipity that take us all by surprise on occasion. Sheets and tip-ins from our new book on E. R. Weiss by Gerald Cinamon can be seen front and centre, so we must have been hard at work before we saw the camera!