Last week we were in Amsterdam to print the Pig Book, “Salute the Pig”. Its been a couple of years in the thinking stage, so it was very nice to see it at last become an almost reality.
I say almost because I now have to design end papers and cover and then bind them, but they are looking splendid. We had booked a week with the excellent Thomas Gravemaker at LetterpressAmsterdam. 5 days is a very short time to print even this small book and if Thomas had not done the typesetting we probably wouldn’t have made it.
While Thomas was finishing the texts, I started printing the images from the mounted lino blocks. A little bit of extra shim was needed to get the block to just type high but they printed pretty well!
The Berkshire block locked up on the bed of the Vandercook
Proofing each block is important because a letterpress press can pick up the odd raised cut mark so a little bit of remedial cutting was made on some of the blocks, Due to the large amount of black in these prints it was necessary to double ink each image.Which means running the inking rollers over the blocks once prior to the print run. After printing the tree book pages for 5 weeks my right arm must be getting stronger?
The first rack of images..I am printing 30 of each for a book edition of 25 books. These plates will be trimmed by hand and then tipped in to the bound book.
Thomas finished the texts, then there was proofing and checking the texts again and again for spelling mistakes, spacings and incorrect letters. You think it is all OK and then you find another!
Texts ready for proofreading.
By the end of Tuesday all the 300 plus plates were printed and we started on the book pages. We printed page 1 and page 24 first because these contain two small linocuts which will need to be dry before printing on the reverse.
Proofing the blocks,and printing the edition.
Wednesday we started printing the texts!
Part Two tomorrow.