lately my brain has been consumed with thinking of locations that have good, strong central air. we’ve already been to two movies this week (knight & day and toy story 3, both fun!) so i’m pretty sure my next step today will be a visit to the giant barnes & noble on my block. those stores pump up the air conditioning like it’s their life’s mission, so i’ve been writing up a list of books i want to check out and bring home for summer reading. (i know i repeatedly mention i don’t read books much, but this summer i’m set on changing that). i figured i’d start with something near and dear to my heart: letterpress. an amazing array of letterpress and printing-related books have come out this year (and late late year) so i thought i’d share the six that have been on my wishlist this week.
reinventing letterpress and the little book of letterpress, both by charlotte rivers (the first is the european version, the second is the american version), are at the top of my list. the latter is only available for pre-order but after reading the description about the history of craft, a detailed explanation of presses, and peeks into the studios of letterpress artists, i’m sold (well, pre-sold).
adventures in letterpress printing by brandon mies (love that book cover) looks at the art letterpress through interviews with contemporary artists and pictures of their work in the form of letterpress posters, cards and packaging. i have a soft spot for larger form letterpress posters, so i’m particularly excited about that. and speaking of posters, hatch show print: the history of a great american poster shop looks amazing. the publisher explains that, “nashville’s hatch show print shop has produced…an astounding variety of posters and ephemera advertising everything from trailers to state fairs, wrestling matches to circuses, roberto duran to dwight d. eisenhower”. i seriously can’t wait to take that one home, it’s going to be a visual feast.
impressive is a look at the artists who are making strides in the fields of graphic design, printmaking, and letterpress. i haven’t seen this in person yet or received a press release with more details, but i’ve heard such rave reviews from artists in my area that it’s a must-buy for me.
last but not least, i bought the printmaking bible last year for no other reason than to daydream about being able to produce my own prints again. i actually focused on printmaking with my art major in college, and have missed having my hands covered in ink ever since i left the studio. just reading through all these techniques makes me misty eyed for the lake matoaka studio all over again. (it also makes me cough, remembering the aquatint box and the seriously toxic dust it leaked).