A beautiful collection of handmade prints created in celebration of the 15th year of Helaine Victoria Press reflecting HV’s ideals and letterpress craft. I chose to represent three distinct voices, an unknown folk figure, a Jewish immigrant writer and a political rebel.
Thinking about the words each woman expressed I imagined what the paper might look like. I made 60 sheets, 9×12 inches, in each handmade edition as well as 30 folio covers for complete sets. The typographical design integrates into the handmade sheets of paper. The type was set in Munder, an old style roman and printed on a Chandler & Price platen press. A less expensive edition of 200 prints each on machine made paper was also printed.
If I Had My Life to Live Over
I wanted the paper for this print to be frolicsome for several reasons. Stair, the author is not exactly a real person, but rather a folk figure. You have probably seen this passage or a similar one attributed to many different people, mostly with women’s names, but sometimes even a male reverend. The sentiment reminds us to have some fun in this life, not worry about so many little details and to be a bit crazy.
The paper is a very clean sheet of white with a large pink initial capital “I” used instead of printing the “I,” and another pink oval for the headline. Then I squeezed on thin layers of pulp for a border, both a purple one and yellow. Then the sheets were pressed and dried. Registering on the press, handmade sheets made in this manner is rather tricky.
Anzia Yezershki, For the First Time in My Life …
Although a better known author has written about the necessity of having a room of one’s own, I like the heart that Yezershki brings to her words about finding a “private room, a bargain cheap.” I thought about her words, “I must have this room with the shut door. I must make this woman rent it to me.” How do I translate that to paper?
First, I wanted the elegance of her words to contrast against the dingy environment, thus a white sheet couched on gray. The little white squares were the openings of light.
I wanted to emphasize the words “private room, a bargain cheap,” both because I enjoyed the syntax and because these words offered such hope to the author. I chose a very old curly cue type, one of many ornamental faces in the shop.
The paper was made using two vats of pulp, one for the white and the other for the gray. The gray sheet is couched onto a felt and then the mold with the white sheet is registered and couched on top of the white. The white squares in the corner are cut from a wet sheet of paper and hand placed in each corner. Then the entire sheet is pressed and dried.
Virginia Snow, Against Capital Punishment
Given the nature of Snow’s words, I wanted a dramatic sheet. I chose to make black paper with a large red blotch. Making a black sheet of paper without pigments or dyes is quite difficult. I gathered as much black clothing from friends as I could to make the rag pulp.
The black sheet is couched onto the felt. The red pulp is dipped from another vat on a mold that is taped off so only the pulp sticks to the one circle section. The red is then registered and couched onto the black. The sheet is pressed and dried.
Printing letterpress white onto a black sheet is no easy task. In order for the white to be opaque enough, I pulled a second impression, that is I printed the white lettering then printed it again on top of the first impression. A number of sheets were lost because if the second impression was off as much as a hair, the type looked slurred. I then ran a black run for the picture of Justice printed in the middle of the red.