28 January, 2012

Snowdrops for Bangkok

Ralph Kiggell, the maker of magical woodcut prints in the Japanese style, lives in Bangkok and I am prepared to believe that Snowdrops are in rather short supply in Thailand. In a recent email, he asked whether ours had made an appearance yet. Detecting a note of '(original)home sickness', perhaps, I took a few photographs.

Above is the rather obvious 'woodland covering' picture but here is one I rather like . . . especially as Ralph quite often, in his prints, makes a feature of long shadows!

Here, for instance, is one long shadow on the title page of his exquisite book, Leading the Cranes Home. This is one of the most popular of our recent books and, I confess, I do have my favourites!

For many months now, emails have been flying between Thailand and Wales as plans for the 'sequel' (ie same format) developed. It was decided, when we last met, that the theme for the new book would be "Water" and Ralph has now (I think) completed his selection of poems and prose extracts and, a few days ago, an email arrived containing photographs of an exciting first harvest of newly cut blocks.

A book which is to contain such an exquisite woodblock print as this, needs watching, I feel.

Watch this space!

19 January, 2012

Exhibition at the Science Museum, London

We are coming up once more for a Fair in London - this one is at the Science Museum and it gives us an opportunity to see the amazing makeover of Exhibition Road that is now complete.

In previous years we have had to struggle between roadworks and giant hoardings and general building chaos but now it all appears to be finished so even the approach to this Exhibition which displays Watercolours and Drawings and Works on Paper will be an excitement before rising up above the scientific exhibits in a glass and steel lift to Level 2. Here there is a magnificent display by numerous galleries who specialise in watercolours, drawings, original prints, photographs and then there is a group of those of us who produce artists books . . . how can you resist a trip out?

Click here for details of the new Exhibition Road project.

There are details on the website of opening times, how to get there, who all the exhibitors are and news of the live music, cafĂ©, champagne bar and all that goes to make a show with a considerable buzz. We can provide tickets for anyone who is interested in visiting if you email or telephone us. As always, it is a splendid opportunity to see and handle the books which otherwise you can only see on our website. However much information we put up there, nothing can compare with turning real pages of beautiful papers still fresh with the smell of inks as text and image flow before you. You don’t get original prints whether they be woodcuts, or engravings from copper plates on a Kindle or even in most books.

We especially look forward to showing you our new titles - one by Natalie d’Arbeloff whose lively drawings leap from the pages of Stories from the Life of Jesus and our amazing versions of Powys Mather’s Procreant Hymn which include the copper engravings Eric Gill made for The Golden Cockerel Press and a second set which were previously unpublished with the text. All the engravings are freshly printed directly from Gill’s plates.

I’ll hope to see you there.

07 January, 2012

Found Poem

I have recently started to use an app whereby I dictate into one of those dinky little microphones and the pearls of great price appear immediately on the screen of my Mac. It is pretty miraculous, to put it mildly, and infinitely better than the similar package I tried years ago with wildly feeble results - it might as well have been translating what I was saying into some long-dead language.

Anyway . . . this morning I was using the thing to help me with a long and complicated e-mail . . . and it was doing a great job. Suddenly Frances came in to discuss a topic of great moment, namely what were we going to have for lunch. She was talking from the other end of the room and I was talking to her over my shoulder. After she had gone I looked down at my e-mail and realized that I had not turned my microphone off and that the machine had been trying to listen to what F and I had been talking about and had done as best it could in the matter of writing it down. When I had recovered from my surprise at seeing a mass of words in the middle of my e-mail I began to read them. It was nothing less than a "stream of un-consciouness" and was clearly of significant literary merit(!!!) .

On two previous occasions with OSP books I have used a technique involving the cutting up, into units of sense, texts which are hard to understand. Firstly there was The Paradise Driver my strange writing under morphine (provided by a hospital!) and the other the arcane and antique writings (about the faery world) by Mr Robert Kirk, The Secret Commonwealth.

It occurred to me that this technique might enhance my strange Found Poem and so, I think, it does. So, I attach it here . . . just for fun.

Found Poem

time right then
who is the person who killed my disabled
is at one point per headsets below
soup over and in both codes like some Indians
listening to the nice friendly supreme
just slightly home
solid granola sound like a well either we have and we haven't
had a pizza
phrases are not sure likely to help
and we have a Jimmy while at home as a freezer
Lasalle Alfredo am half an hour Friday
and with some stuff on it
but maybe in relative adventures there
but maybe not amateurs
that sort of ads and
clearly in a tall and Dion mine afterwards
but urgent project it is sold
in the actor puts
and pepper into it but no no harm
no social life
feeling very well the meet his pre-salted will
I think that with the number of we handle Alfredo
we make it in crooked than cut in half
and you have one of my last letter.