Imagine That! HM Gets Into Cornell

Cornell's Walker Library of Human Imagination has organized an exhibition titled Collecting Imagination, showcasing "imagination as a driving force through history and celebrates the adventure of discovery, learning, and creativity." Included in this diverse and centuries-spanning assemblage is a copy of Barbara Hodgson & Claudia Cohen's The WunderCabinet (HM 2011). Have a poke around in the cases.


Looks Good on Paper

Assembling papers to be used in the (metal) type sample book. We hope to combine at least half a dozen. Yesterday we scored, from the stash of a friend, six packages of Barcham Green seconds from the 1970s. All of them are laid; prefer wove, but this is BG, so we won't complain. About 110 sheets of Bodleian 80 g, and 100 of Canterbury 120 g. Both of those are sufficient in size and quantity to save for their own projects. For the type book we have two small packages of Azure Laid 110 g, a total of 21 sheets. Enough for the planned edition. Interestingly, one of the packs is hot pressed, and has a lovely smooth surface.

Already on tap is a small package of Van Gelder Calligraphy found last year at the bottom of a drawer in a small art supply shop going out of business. We hope to have at least one Japanese sheet in the book; perhaps kitikata, or maybe some gampi made by Reg Lissel.


What's It Called When You Keep Buying Things You Don't Need, and Don't Have Space For?

Found another book press. Actually a copy press, but with an opening big enough for use in damping & drying paper. Beautiful thing, and the most skookum press we've acquired. Much too nice to leave in the jumble shop where it was found, in danger of being purchased by interior decorators or movie prop suppliers. So home it came.

It's slightly bigger than the two currently being used for paper damping (see images & notes here), with a platen that measures 14 x 21 inches. The makers label is worn away, but much of the original paint detailing remains.

While the original plan was to find a suitable home for the press, we quickly decided to keep the new one & re-home one of the other two (the one on the right, below; the platens on those two measure 13 x 18 inches), and this one kept.


Stylish New Furniture at HM

Along with the cases of 1960s Czech type recently acquired, a box full of beautiful aluminum furniture, everything from 5 to 50 picas. Enough to completely purge our motley assortment of wood furniture.

Most of the Czech type has now been distributed and catalogued in the shop. Below is a detail from the previously mentioned broadside that Robert Reid and Ib Kristensen printed in 1965 to show off their new acquisitions. The Unciala and Monument are all at HM now, with the rest to follow.

Plans continue to bubble for a T/P/P companion, playing with our metal types but using the letters primarily to create shapes and patterns. (We do, however, hope to also incorporate some new pieces from HM's favorite poet; permission pending...)


Jim Rimmer's Genesis

Found at a local thrift shop today, a copy of the facsimile page from the Gutenberg Bible that Jim Rimmer printed. It was commissioned by (if memory serves) Metropolitan Printers, and given out to clients at Christmas c.2000. The page (which measures about 12 x 18 inches) was presented in an elaborate printed portfolio and caused such a stir that one colleague reported people from the IT department storming the Marketing gang in an attempt to purloin the one copy received. The page was printed on Somerset. Jim told us the story of printing the piece once - there was some snafu along the way, might have been with the gold stamping - but can't remember now. The stated edition is 1650 copies, but again Jim said something about that - might not be quite that many out there.


Czech Out the New Type

Spent the past week playing with a cabinet of type that arrived last week, after a 50-year trek that took it from Vancouver to Montreal, then to the Northwest Territories, and finally back to Vancouver.

The cabinet, and some of the type in it (like Rubens, in several sizes), originated in Robert Reid's print shop in the 1950s. 

Ib Kristensen moved it, along with a bunch of other stuff, to McGill in the '60s, when he joined Bob there. During their tenures with the Redpath Press, Bob added a large collection of foundry types from Czechoslovakia. Not entirely by coincidence, we also have a Bob's copy of the catalogue (cover shown at top) of contemporary Czech types prepared by René Murat for the 1968 Atypi meeting in Prague, which is dominated by the designs of Oldrich Menhart. In our newly acquired trays are:



and President

all in various sizes (including some useful titling sizes).

In 1965 Bob bought large fonts of a number of Czech types, and displayed them all on a single broadside titled "Alphabets In Honour Of Richard Pennington Struck In September 1965 From The Czechoslovak Types Recently Acquired For The Redpath Press" (a copy is currently available from Oak Knoll).

The arrival of this new type prompted us to finally dis' some old type that had been standing for ages, plus unwrap several titling sizes that haven't been used yet. Playing with all this metal also reinforced all that was said in the recent Types/Paper/Print about our preference for polymer when it comes to book work, but it also sparked the idea for a companion to T/P/P, showing all the metal faces held at HM, and combining our affinity for shaped settings with a collection of new poems by Harold Budd. Lots of colors this time, and different papers. A small edition, to keep it fun; probably just 26 press-lettered (A - Z) copies. Details to be shared as they are realized. 


Shedding Light on My Dark Room

The second volume in HM's occasional series of Artists' Pamphlets has been completed. David George's My Dark Room is a concise discourse on photograms - their (as yet unexplored) creative potential, and his approach to creating them.

The pamphlet closely follows the format established with the series' debut title, Harold Budd's "4." It is 6 x 9 inches, printed on dampened Arches Wove, and issued in two states: the first ten copies are for Patrons of the series, while the remaining 40 copies are split between HM and the artist for hors-de-commerce distribution.

Part of the intent of the series is to create opportunities to experiment with materials, formats, etc etc. With My Dark Room, the experimenting focused primarily on how to reproduce David's original photograms, retaining their wide spectrum of tones; all of that was down to the gang at New Leaf Editions. At HM, we started thinking of a color scheme that reflected the photogram's tones, which ultimately led us to playing with silver ink (see previous post). David's text actually is two separate pieces: one a series of short process-related statements, the other a longer meditation on the photogram. The short statements were set at the head of each page in black, while the running text occupies the lower part of the pages, printed in silver. The four-page essay is contained on a single folio sheet, which meant four runs (two per side), which meant two per day. Those were pretty long days. 

We chose two of David's photograms to experiment with. The Patron copies contain both (one at the front, the other at the back), while the HC copies contain one or the other.

The wrap for the Patron copies is black Arches Cover, which is a lovely sheet but it marks very easily. So, we covered it with a jacket of kozo made years ago by our friend Ann Vicente. The doorway is printed in silver on both the Arches and kozo, in the same position.

The wrap for the HC copies is grayish-blue Guarro laid, a shade that goes well with the silver ink inside.