The last print run

Today I printed the pages that I’ll attach to book board for the covers of the artist book. Now all of my printing is complete! I celebrated by riding my bike to the Ribersborgs Kallbudhus for a sauna and a swim in the Baltic – naked!

I had intended to print both vertical and horizontal lines on the covers, but the offset litho press didn’t cooperate with that plan. There’s still something wrong that’s preventing the ink from distributing properly on the drum and the paper. So the covers have either a horizontal or a vertical line. There are two covers because the bound book will be a dos-a-dos – two books in one, each with its own front cover. They will share a back cover.

So which is the title of the book? Actually, neither. The cover text is part of the narrative, and, like the interior text, is an excerpt from T.S. Eliot’s “Four Quartets.” The title of the book will be excerpted from the interior text: “Before the Beginning and After the End”.

Tomorrow I’ll be giving an artist talk at KKV, and on Friday I’ll pack everything up for the trip to Copenhagen and then back to St. Paul. The final steps for this artist book are to letterpress print a colophon, cut the book board and bind the books. I’ll start that process next week and post images. Although it’s exciting to see the final printed pages, there’s still suspense over whether or not the final piece will work as I’ve envisioned. I won’t know for sure until I’ve bound the first book of the edition.

It’s been an amazing experience to use the equipment in the well-equipped KKV Grafik workspace, share fika with colleagues, learn new printmaking techniques, get inspired by the work and processes of my colleagues, try to speak Swedish, navigate Malmö on foot and two wheels, swim in the Baltic. I’m filled with gratitude for the generosity of everyone at KKV Grafik and for my new friends.

Those green cookies are witches fingers, baked by Maggie Puckett, my fellow artist-in-residence. Maggie has completed her project of creating seed packets. She used the Vandercook 4 letterpress to print photopolymer plates of text and images she created in Chicago, prior to the residency. Here’s Maggie at the press:

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