The New Year has already brought much work and excitement here at St Brigid Press. On New Year's Day itself, I moved into the little room at the Penland School of Crafts (in the mountains of North Carolina) that would be my home-away-from-home for the next two weeks. I had been notified last autumn of my acceptance to Penland's 2013 Winter Residency in Letterpress Printing. At their wonderfully equipped printing studio, I had the honor of studying letterpress and hand bookbinding with Master Printer Rory Sparks of Em Space Book Arts Center in Portland, Oregon. My three fellow residents and I spent an intense fortnight bringing to fruition the project-proposals we had submitted with our applications. We had very little sleep, but a whole lot of fun! The experience was tremendous, and I came home with new skills and confidence in this art.
I also came home having published a book -- "The Poplar Tree." It is a small, limited edition volume, the centerpiece of which is a poetic meditation upon trees. I had been working on this short essay for some time, and it seemed a good fit for the letterpress process. All of the text is set by hand using historic typefaces and printed on a cylinder proof press. The binding is hand-sewn with linen thread. It was a joy to create, and I hope it may bring joy to those who experience it.
Of an edition of forty books, twenty are now for sale at $12 each. "The Poplar Tree" is available in the St Brigid Press Store (with additional pictures). If you are in the greater Augusta/Nelson County area of Virginia, please contact Emily directly for purchase.
Photos from my time at Penland School of Crafts may be seen <here>.
Blessings and best wishes to all in 2013!