16 November, 2010

What to do when your printing press goes phut?!

It really was a bit of a blow.

After months of not printing any major projects (while I slaved away at the final stages of the Bibliography and dealt with sundry other aspects of our life) I finally got back to the Printing Office and became really happy to be working there again when . . . SILENCE. There is nothing deader-looking than a machine that was happily working a minute ago and now is not.

The answer (as so often) was to go for a walk . . . with my camera, naturally. The fact that it was a glorious, golden day helped the decision of course. I had thought that the high winds the night before would have done for the leaf colour as they would all be on the ground underneath. True there were far fewer leaves on the trees but the glorious light seemed to make the most of the ones that remained and made them seem like jewels.

Anyway, I had great fun and I like some of the results rather a lot.

Now a couple of reflection/window shots. First of all we have Frances in her workshop making Quince Jelly and Apple Jelly.

And secondly . . . !

Latest News: I am VERY happy and relieved to be able to say that dear old Press is humming along again. Ever since we arrived in Wales, our electrical needs (and especially those of the FAG Control 900) have been answered by John Lee who lives close by, at least by the standards of the country. Something happens to the Press about once every six or seven years I would think and every time I dive for the phone in the hope that John Lee will still be there at the other end. The happy thing is that he has similar notions about that curious word 'retirement' as we do, so I have a good hope that he will be able to rush round to minister whenever the next crisis arrives!

05 November, 2010

La Bibliographie nouvelle est arrivée!

Seldom has any pair of kids waited so eagerly for the postman as we did this morning, knowing that the first copy of what we have been working on for so long had been posted from the printer yesterday. Finally the doorbell went and we both rushed to grab the parcel and tear off its wrappers!

The all-important first glance was entirely positive for both of us. The book felt solid, sturdy and workmanlike. As we had already seen a set of printed sheets, it was of course the effect of the cover image that we had been most looking forward to. As everyone reading this is likely to know, Clive Hicks-Jenkins made a deliciously romantic black and white drawing (of our lair in the Wye Valley - seen somewhat fancifully!) for our first Bibliography, ten years ago, and he agreed to paint another picture for the second . . . this time in colour to reflect that this book also has colour throughout. We are of course thrilled with the result and we judge that the artist himself has been quietly confident that his painting would have the desired effect. Thank you Clive!

It was important for us, also, to see the two books side by side as they are meant to go neatly beside each other on a shelf. Yes the two spines were equal and the two spine letterings aligned. And, of course, the all-important sheep (see previous post) . . . there they are, all exactly placed on the spine giving their message clearly!

Here then is an upright view of the two books showing the delicious similarities (and differences) between the two designs. And then there is the whole back of the book which I have not shown you at all!

But now, to be serious for a moment. These Blog glimpses have been just that but we expect the books to be delivered on Monday and then our promotional activities will begin in earnest.

We can, however, now announce one all-important set of facts . . . namely the prices.

The new book (The Old Stile Press . . . the next ten years) is £45 (plus £4 p&p in UK).

A limited number of copies of the earlier book (The Old Stile Press . . . in the twentieth century) remains and these are £40 (plus £4 p&p in UK).

If you do not have a copy of the first book, you can have a copy of both at a special price of £75 (plus £6 p&p in UK).

There are 15 Special (or Archive) copies. These will include pages or spreads from almost all the books together with many other items. The selection is still being made and the box is still being designed but some copies have already been spoken for. The price of this Special Edition is £850.

01 November, 2010

As we still await bound copies of the second Bibliography . . .

. . . I have been preparing a little 'present' to be slipped into the first 250 copies to be sold. Early birds who ordered copies quickly of our first Bibliography ten years ago found (and, we gather, appreciated) a jeux d'esprit involving a piece of Frances' paper, a couple of poems and some sheep!

This time they will find the above. We have been fortunate to own that wood block by Eric Gill for many years. It gets an outing on special occasions (our daughter Cressida's wedding invitation for example!) and this is a special occasion.

For those who like to tot up monetary 'value' . . . as this is printed direct from the actual block, it means that this is an 'original print' by Eric Gill and so the book itself could be seen as coming more or less free!

As soon as we receive copies (and I can photograph them), we will post final details of prices and ordering. It should not be too long now!