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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