Monday, August 25, 2014

Cool New Resource for Reading Color Plates

We are excited to feature a new reader resource for Color Plates, the amazing museum-in-stories by Adam Golaski. Each story in Color Plates is titled after a famous painting, and Adam has indexed all of the titles of the paintings on his blog with links to images of the artwork. So now you can click on each painting and look at the artwork while you read the story of the same title and enhance your reading and art education. It's a win-win! Visit Adam's index of artwork.

If you missed Color Plates when launched in 2010, this is the perfect time to discover it!

Some details about the book:

Color Plates is a museum of stories, curated by a sort-of Mary Cassatt. Four rooms of Mary’s museum are open to the public, and they are named Éduoard Manet, Edgar Degas, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and Mary Cassatt. Color Plates contains sixty-three little stories—plates—spun from real paint­ings by these painters. The stories range from sweet to weird, from melancholy to funny. This isn’t just a short story collec­tion, and it isn’t a novel, but something else entirely. The plates each stand alone, offering startling visions and situations. Yet at the same time, Color Plates of­fers the depth of a novel, with recurring characters, themes, and motifs. The mu­seum says: My name is Mary and Mary is my museum. Paintings are brushstroke upon brushstroke. With a pencil I lift each brush­stroke and make lines.
Line upon line, story upon story, the small fictions in Color Plates will engage you, delight you, and challenge you to consider the intersections between art and time.

Visit the Color Plates page on our website.

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Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Printing the Covers for The Imagination of Lewis Carroll

In late June we made our annual trip to The Museum of Printing in North Andover, Mass. to letterpress the covers of this year's winning chapbook, William Todd Seabrook's The Imagination of Lewis Carroll. For two glorious New England summer days, we donned printing aprons and cranked out 400 2-color covers on the Vandercook press under the fluorescent lights of the Museum. Our letterpress printing days are two of our favorite days of the year, and this year was no exception.

Highlights this year included experimenting with printing on dark royal blue felt paper and using gold metallic ink for the first time. Chess and the red king feature prominently in Seabrook's book, a fictionalized and fabulist biography of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland author Lewis Carroll. So we wanted to highlight the king by making it the only red one among the chess pieces. This led to some tricky measuring when we printed with the gold ink on Day 2, but the end result was definitely worth it! The covers came out beautifully and the finished books look amazing, complete with Stardream gold endpapers. The book launches August 7, and preordering is available now.

Here are some photos and a video of this year's printing process:

Day 1: Inking the press with hand-mixed red ink

Day 1: With the first color printed, the covers are laid out to dry by the hundreds

Day 2: The gold metallic ink!
Day 2: The gold ink on press

RMP intern Maria DiPasquale helms the Vandercook, with designer Rebecca Saraceno
Day 2 printing crew with finished covers: Heather Butterfield, Katey Corrigan, Abby Beckel, Rebecca Saraceno, Maria DiPasquale, and newest printer-in-training Emilia!

Day 2: Finished covers drying everywhere
The finished cover!

Special thanks to Katey Corrigan and Frank Romano of the Museum of Printing for their help and support, and as always, to the Museum for the use of it amazing presses!

Order your copy of the printed and bound version of The Imagination of Lewis Carroll here!

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