19 July, 2008

Exhibition at The Art Shop and Gallery in Abergavenny

In this photograph, Frances is talking with Pauline Griffiths, the Proprietor of The Art Shop and Gallery in Abergavenny, who very kindly offered to mount an exhibition of our books (and some prints from them) which will be open until 23rd August 2008.

The Gallery is housed in a beautiful building, of considerable antiquity, in the main street of this pretty town which retains a rarely characterful shop front and deliciously low ceilings and wiggly staircases. Pauline has enhanced the Gallery's wonderful atmosphere with subtle and sensitive paintings of walls. We found that this lovely green colour, while making the whole room a work of art, seemed to enhance the look of every single one of our books!

Last evening we very much enjoyed the Private View at which we met a number of people who had not come upon our books before and expressed themselves amazed that such things were being produced in these times!

One lady said, of Natalie d'Arbeloff's Revelation, seen above, that she thought we should add a nought to the price - but, please, not until she had bought a copy for her herself and her husband!

The photographs below will speak for themselves. Anyone who happens to be near this part of South Wales during the next month should treat themselves to a visit to Abergavenny and pop in to see the show!

03 July, 2008

Benjamin Britten's "A Christmas Sequence" finally printed

A couple of days ago I have finished my months of daily printing stints to complete this book. Today I am exhausted from feeding large sheets of heavy blue paper (to cover the binding boards) into the press so that I could print two large woodcuts . This was the very last thing to be done.

Yesterday I had printed this large 'Label" which goes on the front of the slipcase.

And here you have sight of a regular domestic scene at The Old Stile Press!

After my printing activities, the sheets have to be folded and half of these folds have to be inserted into another one to form an 8-page signature. These have finally to be collated - to form the 'inside' of each copy. Frances does these tasks. For the final collating process, the stage is set as you see it here. She walks round the table, picking a section from each pile (ten piles in this case) to make up a copy, each of which gets piled up in a box ready to go to be bound. It is a strangely beautiful sight but Frances declined to be photographed!

I am sure I will not be able to resist adding to the blog photographs of the final work when the first copy comes from the binder.

I've heard of crop circles but . . .

I looked out of our bedroom window one evening recently. We are firmly situated in Wales . . . but here I am looking across the field and across the river Wye to the strange land called England!

I am also looking at what caused me to go for my camera rather swiftly. There is no trickery whatsoever about this photo. It was simply the case that, by a whole range of natural chances to do with the length of branches, the growth of nettles, a gap between a tree and a bush and so on, I was presented, in this particular evening light, with a sizeable and almost perfect circle.

Strange, I thought. And rather beautiful.