Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Another Hornbook Edition in Process!

Ok, it's that time again!  Sufficient orders have been placed to proceed on a new production of the Colonial American Hornbook, part of a series that I initiated back in 1992 at Heirloom Press, Palm Harbor, Florida.  As with each production, or should I say, 'Edition', because these are books, the very first Public School Books on our shores - this one is unique.  Prior editions used various types of Pine, which would have been one of the woods available to the Printer of Massachusetts Bay and Providence Plantation of 1700.  But hardwoods were certainly available, too.  This Edition is Hardwood, stock Poplar.  Nails are cut copper.  Also, we are going one step closer to the original decoupage process: Shellac.  This makes things a bit slower.  Shellac goes on in much thinner layers, and build-up will probably result in more layering, with steel wooling between each layer.  The 'up' side is an interesting and attractive patina.  The downside: more time with steel wool, circle-scrubbing each layer, front and back.

What is remaining the same is the printed face piece, and the cherry stain.  Poplar does not drink in the stain like pine, it rests more on the surface.  This offers the opportunity to 'age' a book by sanding the extreme edges of the wood to bring the lighter wood behind to somewhat show through the stain, creating a time-worn look.  This is a new thing for me, but I like the variety this creates!

The production run on this edition is a bit smaller because the wood available comes in shorter lengths and is more expensive.  In the above photo, three books are drying while the upright one is mounted on it's jig awaiting the next coating of shellac to be brushed on.

That's it for now.  If you wish to know more about the Colonial American Hornbook, America's very first public school "Textbook", you will find a link to my Hornbook FAQs in the links section to the right, and more photos.

Just a reminder: these books are $15.00 each, plus $5.00 postage. If you would like one, drop me a line at wd4nka@aim.com  .  I also usually give notice of upcoming releases on the Letpress List, the Florida Letterpress Yahoo Group, and, of course, here on the blog.  Please allow 2-3 weeks to receive your Hornbook, in that this is about how long it takes to make them and permit the decoupage layers to cure.

Good Providence in all your endeavors!


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Anna's Announcements

Anna's Wedding Announcements were designed by herself.  The original artwork was in Micron pen, scanned and vectorised.  Colours are Teal and Coral. Paper is 140#/300gsm Canson Watercolor.  The colour is identical to Crane's Pearl White.  All text is 'French Script'.  Two Hundred of these two-colour fold-over A7 announcements and 4-Bar RSVPs ran today, plus the scoring of the A7 card.  No mean feat, it was entirely hand fed on my 8x12 New Series C&P Platen Jobber.  Including the time to wash up between colours, blending the colours (Inks: Daves Inks In Tubes.  Thanks for getting these inks out to me so fast, Dave!!),  and all the makeready typical for a job that passes through the press once for each colour, plus once more for scoring, I was on my feet from eleven in the morning until ten o'clock tonight.

Here is the full set, A7 Fold-over announcement and RSVP card.

A closer look at the RSVP card.

A little detail.  We thought the French Script went well with the airy, whimsical feel of the design.  It is very 'Anna'.

What I love about this card is the cover.  That's Anna and Zac, her fiance.  I think they were sitting on a porch swing.

The interior is my design, actually.  I took part of the flora that Anna drew, and using FreeHand, duplicated it in vector, to create the border, and keep continuity.

A close-up of the border detail. Owosso Graphics, once again, did a superb job with the metal dies used to make this suite.

A close-up of the inside text.  While I allowed for substantial deboss of the illustrations, I opted not to go so deep with the text.  There is still a little deboss, but the letters are very crisp and sharp.  Debossing can interfere with sharpness of image, ink distribution on the die must be carefully monitored.

A closeup of one of the dandelions on the front cover.

....and - a closer look at the front cover design.  Anna's wedding colours will be teal and coral, so we repeated that colour scheme with the Wedding Stationery as well.

Well, that's about it for this installment.  Cards came out great!  Special thanks to Nick and Mama's Sauce for the use of his paper-cutter to cut down the parent sheets.  Your a lifesaver, bro!

Good Providence in all your Letterpress endeavors!