15 July 2010

How the summer slides into fall

The tumble toward fall begins! Our fall list is in pretty good shape editorially (other than that the fall catalogue is late, again), and production work on fall books is well underway. The first fall book to take form is St. Andrews Architecture, 1604–1966 by John Leroux and Thaddeus Holownia. The Nature Trust of New Brunswick is hosting a launch for this book in St. Andrews on this coming Saturday morning. Given that the first copies of the book were bound only this morning, it’s going to be a pretty crazy day in here today as we gather, sew, bind and trim enough books for me to drive up to the event tomorrow. Ahh!

There was a nice article about this book in the Telegraph Journal last weekend, which you should be able to fine at this link.

In the mail bag this week were copies of the The Alcuin Society’s catalogue for its 28th annual awards for excellence in Canadian book design, which includes a number of Gaspereau Press productions. I went into Halifax last week for the opening of an exhibition of this year’s winning books at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. I’ll be speaking another opening of the same exhibit at the Acadia Art Gallery in Wolfville on Friday July 23rd at 2:00 p.m.

We’ve had a lot of interesting commercial work moving through the shop too. Of course, there's the usual dog’s breakfast of invitations, programs and flyers, but we’ve also been involved making some interesting books and journals. We did a slim volume by Sackville, NB, poet Michael Thorpe entitled About Thomas Hardy. And a family memoir by Stanley Havill with the delightfully direct title Some Happening of the Havill Family of Nova Scotia. And last week I found myself typesetting a geology paper on an Early Triassic camptonite dyke in Cambridge, Massachusetts, for the online journal Atlantic Geology. All of these projects come with their own unique challenges and rewards and they keep me on my toes.

On the letterpress front, I recently designed and hand printed a short catalogue for an exhibition of photographs by Thaddeus Holownia which is presently showing at the Tides Institute in Eastport, Maine. The text is an essay by Paul Griffin. The type was Garamount.

We got involved with one of the other local arts organizations this summer, designing and printing a suite of promotional pieces (posters, cards, etc.) for Two Planks and a Passion Theatre’s production of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. The posters and cards were printed offset and included an original scraper board illustration by Wesley Bates. I used a revival of the Fells types to do this fun letterpress broadside, co-writing the copy with the play’s director Ken Schwartz. The next big letterpress project is a 96 page book celebrating the painter Alex Colville’s 90th birthday in August. The editorial and design work is complete, and I’m waiting for paper to arrive so that I can begin printing.

By far the most intensive typesetting job I’ve done in the past few weeks has been the Autumn 2010 issue of the international book arts journal Parenthesis, for which Gaspereau Press is the North American printer of record. Edited by Paul Razzel in Vancouver, the issue hosts a special feature on fine printing and the book arts in the state of California, as well as numerous articles and reviews. This issue is set in Ross Mills’ snazzy new typeface Huronia, accompanied by my own Memorial Hall ornaments. I’ll be printing the jackets on my letterpress later in the month.

Summer is always a busy time for visitors in the printshop. Recent drop-ins have included Jeffrey Macklin from Jackson Creek Press in Peterborough, Ontario, from Jack Illingworth of the Literary Press Group of Canada, illustrator and letterpress printer Basma Kavanagh, just to name a few.

(Oh, yes, and I'm still spending evenings and weekends working away at building a house.)


1 comment:

Jeffrey Macklin said...

It was a lovely tour we had that warm july day. Sorry for the short notice. It is a great hope, if things work out, that i might be back for a visit come Wayzgoose time in October. Well worth the side trip from Sackville NB to Bridgewater NS. Thanks so much.