Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Need a light?

The matchbook has been obsolesced by clean air and now it's suddenly rare and, as every girl who's picked up one of Cameron's has put it, "so cute!"

These Lettre Sauvage matchbooks cum notepads magnetically dragged people to our mini-shop at Bazaar Bizarre San Francisco. We didn't get to say "need a light," but we found our matchbooks hooked us up with lots of new friends.

Cameron 's decided he'll offer to create matchbooks for others despite the many runs of printing, scoring and perforating involved in their creation. It's fun, it gets people talking and passing secret messages.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

come visit us at Bazaar Bizarre in San Francisco!

Lettre Sauvage will be hosting a table at San Francisco's Bazaar Bizarre on Saturday, December 15th. The gigantic craft fair will take place from 11 AM to 6 PM at the San Francisco County Fair Building in Golden Gate Park.

If you're in the area, please drop by! We'll be selling some new notebooks, cards, and prints and giving away some surprise treats.

Monday, December 3, 2007

minimalist holiday card

Available in a pack of 6. On sale at Etsy.

the cryer

long labored and long thought out, at last the cryer is finished. well, almost finished. we're going to kinko's tonight to photocopy the body of this month's (our premiere!) issue onto our letter pressed mast headed paper. the cryer is a community and cosmic newspaper.

the cryer


for types of individuals with hair on their pineal gland, this forum takes place at the right time bringing images & texts into our creative life. is it not time to paint the town red? with the blood of our ideas? let our pens run with blood, the blood of poets and workers, people in our community who are trying to breathe free from fear. rather to breathe into the noosphere, bring back from the web of information, a nefarious particle of sun.


mineral spirits

this is a bottle, or canister, filled with a liquid used to clean off, in my experience so far, ink rolls, ink plates, ink pallette, and knives used to scoop out the ink from its canisters.

i think the name, mineral spirits is so cool because just the sense of it, i've always known that minerals have spirits, especially ever since i read steiner's rudimentary ablums on theosophical ontologies, where i learned mineral spirits are the highest and lowest planes of cosmotic existence. cosmotic existence is existence that dares to make the cosmos exist. therefore spirits are the envelope of stars around us.

ink rolls, plates, pallettes, and other instruments used in letterpress can be easily cleaned using a paper cloth and mineral spirits, such as is in the bottle you see before you.

mineral spirits wipe the slate clean

brick 14

folded in thirds, this accordion-like monolith has silk-screened imaging.

Lettre Sauvage has collaborated with brick on bricks 8,9,12, and 14.

wine poetry virtue

in veritum vino y coitus, or thereabouts, adventures of a missus, yesterday found myself sewing tiny three dimensional books together. if you pull the manuscript out of its sleeve, and set it up in an intelligent origami way, the divertic message will reveal itself, as wine poetry and virtue dance upon your sleeves. for the guest with add.

look for it in local bookstores or order in online at http://www.lettresauvage.com/

the design for wine poetry virtue was conceived whilst fiona served her apprenticeship at UCSB book arts.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

premiere issue of the cryer

you can pick up copies of december's cryer at wild planet, art city, accolades, or from one of us losers, like sophia kidd, fiona spring, and gwendolyn alley, who all got seduced into amputating the luminosity of white dwarf stars, taking brittle shards for our own generation. blah, there is no money in the avant-garde, like cameron says

november's issue was our first, and these are some shots of it in various stages of publication. i would like to thank all writers and contributors to our premier issue. also, all thinkers and pervadors, all those capable of penetration, write for the cryer. do so by sending ms word documents in lower case letters, to sophia@lettresauvage.com

Friday, November 30, 2007

the party

was so successful it took us 13 days to tell you about it! my god, there were so many hot girls and brilliant films screened in cameron's creative back yard projection-en-scene. naked three foot high plastic dolls, or a leg only, strewn about the property, handsome french wine-makers who talk about wittgenstein on vintage couches.

oh come along now, you should have been there! not just in house when dept. was rocking the spanish adobe print up imagination, liquid gel projections on our living room's inner walls. odd bulbs, colors, in each of the globe lamps. globe or some other shape more parabolic...ok, not just dept's incredible mix and progression of beats,...you should have been there, too,

when sophia kidd performed,
spoken word scribe, off the page (is recitation a lost art?), she explained how al gorisma brought zero from india to the muslim world and then to europe via moor encampments in spain...it went well, with interruptions that were so glandular, we all thought saturn had gone rhomboid (your author's been reading a titular lot of ezra lb.)

kameron and ceith

(keith ok)

rocked out of water in the basement studio, composed into psychic states from the ethers...many filmmakers were present to witness and document these two's wizardly states with a theramin (sp?) and odd casio intruments, instrument kinds and fucked up circuitry. scuze me for wearing skirts on this one, guys...i only know the sound you put forth stimulated me in ways i kuldn't keep b track of.

Geneveive spoke moments of truth, whispered with her eyes, from the next vortex, she was calm, bringing with her alan d. glass II, who hooked up a posse of mongolian horsemen to take him across the gobi desert, filmed it. we were so lucky. that guy drinks a glass of water with every cup of joe he drinks...never met a more sober genius.

and this part i nearly can't talk bout, is the heidelberg press that cameron got going, and going well. after performing, for about 25 minutes around 7:30, cameron hung out for a few of ken's video projections. then he did the unthinkable. he went into the garage and chugged up the heidelberg

and commenced printing a huge job and printed until one in the morning. after that, the ink and cleaning, after gen left.

there's so much else about the party you should know...people who were there, deals that were struck, minds...but ah's outta hea...maybe more later.

you know tho that the most important thing or person of all was fiona.

she reigned queen. she was the queen of the party. and yma, oh i'm gonna start crying when i think about how she handled that whole party. so damn regal.


(in case you din' notice by now, sophia kidd wrote this)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Cameron's Recommendations

Disconnect your TV even if you can't remove it.

Disconnect your Land Line phone or use it as a FAX only.

Read more, a lot more.

Start making things where you are. Start making up ideas to make more things. Ask other people for help. Help other people.

If someone offers you food, money, or anything immediately useful, take it and just say "Thank You".

Recycle everything you can't turn into something else or use as a tool.

Don't hoard things. Give things away, especially to anyone who will enjoy them more than you do. Leave items in poetic positions that give them increased meaning. Rearrange the thrift store.

Don't become so cool that you become unapproachable. Actually try to be interested in what other people are doing.

Always walk from the mailbox to the outside trash can when retrieving mail. Throw away everything that is not a bill. Some would recommend you throw those away too.

Don't drive unless you have to. Try to combine trips, or get items brought to you. Take walks.

Believe that people are the most important thing. Do not support causes that require you to abuse or negate other people or yourself even for a moment.

Believe that good things can happen, are happening, and are about to happen to you and everyone you know.

Talk about what you love and enjoy doing. Try to make a living doing what you love.

And lastly buy printing from Lettre Sauvage.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

open studio party tonight!

1310 Forest Drive
Santa Paula, CA

6-10 PM

backyard screenings
electronic tonalities
an unstoppable press

crank the machine!

If you're in the area earlier in the day, you may also want to stop by the John Nichols Gallery for the opening of "Working in the Canyons," from 4-6 PM at 916 E. Main St., Santa Paula.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

the history of books and reading

I just enrolled in a USC grad seminar for next spring called "Image/Word/Object: Rethinking the History of Books and Reading."
It will be team-taught by Daniela Bleichmar, Assistant Professor, Depts. Of Art History and Spanish and Portuguese and Deborah Harkness, Associate Professor, Department of History.

I've always been interested in the material as well as theoretical and historical aspects of the printed word, and I'm particularly excited that this course will take up the question of the image alongside the word. This is something that we encounter in nearly all of our projects, constantly rethinking and reshaping the relation of one to the other. Images as we've used them do not simply "illustrate" the text, but suggest affective fields around them. In the same way, the words strike tonalities that draw different resonances from the images. Add to this a curiosity for what happens in the making. Lately we've been experimenting with inkless printing, just a deep impression that presses through to the other side. We like seeing both image and text sunk into the paper, falling into each other.

Here is the course description. I'll give updates as the semester progresses.

This seminar will rethink the history of the book and reading in the West from the Renaissance to the present by focusing on the visual and material aspects of books and book culture, in addition to the textual ones that have traditionally dominated the field. Our goal is to take a fresh approach to a field that is currently dominated by two questions: How fixed is print culture? How revolutionary was the print revolution? We propose in this course to move the study of the book in a new direction by approaching books as objects that contain both words and images. It is our contention that the history of the book should include a careful exploration of the material object of the book (delving into maters of design, manufacturing, codicology, and typography), was well as the complicated relationship between images and texts. Similarly, the history of reading can be fruitfully reconsidered by approaching it in terms of the history of seeing (albeit a specialized kind of seeing). In this way, we seek to rethink the history of the book from the vantage points of visual and material culture.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Open Studio

We’re having our first party!
All Lettre Sauvage print work will be on display. There will be demonstrations of our equipment and the opportunity to print greeting cards.

Entertainment includes Opal Gann’s electronic tonalities, Sophia Kidd’s performance art and possibly some film screenings.

Jean Benoit, wine maker at Casa Baranca, will host the vin.

All are welcome. Please stop by and power our machines with your regards.

Aldus Manutius

We recently attended the annual conference of the American Printing History Association (APHA) held at UCLA and the Getty Research Institute. It was invigorating to get out of our workshop and stuff our brains with printing history and exquisite exhibitions from the work of Aldus Manutius, his press, followers and modern imitators.

The scholars in attendance framed a fascinating and brief period in which books changed from handwritten manuscripts to works printed with metal type in fonts very like the ones we continue to use today. We learned that those first printed books before 1501 are referred to as incunabulum- a most fascinating word and work.

These forays into book history are like spiritual pilgrimages. Aldus was responsible for the inspired work of creating books for the hands, allowing for comfortable, solitary reading (Can we say "Praise be to Aldus"). The speed and ease of reading was enhanced by his italic type faces. He also saved many classical texts through his careful work with translators and his super-human publishing speed.

APHA has a newly revived Southern California chapter. Membership in this association has been enriching for our creative work all year. The salons that meet at studios and homes and wonderful. Membership is open to all and includes a thick, handsome journal of papers and reviews.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Recently I had the pleasure of printing broadsides for David Ray and Jason Diller of the famous Bart's Books of Ojai. Just in from Taiwan, Sophia Kidd was there to help me out and take gorgeous photos. The bright orange ink on Diller's linoleum cut (above) is shrouded in dramatic shadows. The cut is of the combined alchemical symbols for lead and gold.

Friday, October 12, 2007

The Midwife of Fallujah

This is a broadside by Weam Namou, a poet that is part of the Mutanabbi Street Coalition. Mutanabbi Street is a historic bookselling district in Baghdad that was bombed in March 2007. It will be part of an exhibition of broadsides celebrating the literary and intellectual community of Mutanabbi Street from October 19-November 21 at the San Francisco Center for the Book, in collaboration with the University of California Press. The opening is from 6-8 pm on October 19th.

For printing, we used Crane's paper and paint thinner dropped onto a linoleum block. Each broadside was individually inked and then run through the Vandercook. It actually took us a long time to develop a design that seemed fitting for the poem, so the resulting print run was very small, and most of that went to the poet.

The Midwife of Fallujah
by Weam Namou

Everyone knew Amti Hassina, a Christian,
who lived alone in Fallujah,
after her husband went missing in some war,
and left her to raise a little boy.
The midwife and nurse of the city of mosques and history,
which was inhabited for many millennia,
most recently those of Sunni ancestry,
Amti Hassina was called upon by all.
Repaid with money, live chickens, fresh eggs, dried dates and figs,
she lived like a queen, although there, she wasn’t linked by lineage.
I never met Amti Hassina’s patients in real life, nor in pictures.
But last night I think I did, and they cut apart my heart.
These images might be graphic, warned the Internet.
Still, I clicked the mouse on each seventy-two of them.
I couldn’t eat my club pita sandwich afterwards,
But I had to view, or else it meant no recognition for the tormented.
I thanked Allah Aunt Hassina wasn’t around
to see Fallujah an empty ground,
to weep over men and women she might’ve once treated, or given birth to,
lying in their beds, swimming in their blood,
faces blown off, hair and skin scalded, bodies partially eaten by dogs, birds and

Sunday, September 30, 2007

MOO mini cards

Being enamored with all things small, except maybe fleas and lint, here's a link to MOO mini cards. They're really inexpensive, lovely "widescreen" name cards in a very adorable size. And you can choose any number of images to put on them as well, so you can have lots of different cards. We like in particular the fact that you can put any text on them, so these would make an affordable complement to, say, a wedding invite or announcement.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

summer workshop

Jamie O'Halloran, an LA poet was at the workshop recently making a book and a broadside in an impressive two-day publishing spree. We used an improvised printing method combining string taped down behind the paper and ink hand-painted on a linoleum block.

These pictures were taken by Jamie. What a great way to spend the weekend!