Monday, April 26, 2010

Open Studio - May 1

Join us in person or in spirit on May 1st 6-10 pm as we open our studio to celebrate three new letterpress editions.

the Forest Drive
, which was completed earlier this year is a collection of poems by Sophia Kidd, Jackson Wheeler, Desiree Morales, Brynn Saito and John Charles Shippey interspersed with typographic images created by Cameron Leggett and printer's blocks of yore.

Windfall which is currently being sewn is an edition of poems by Erin M. Bertram, the winner of our First Lettre Sauvage Poetry Contest. The poems are marvelous and the cover art is a hand-carved wood cut by John Charles Shippey. We are currently folding, collating, sewing by hand. See me dragging a piece of bone over a folded sheet.

The beautiful broadside of Kim Andrews' poem "As in Nowhere, No-One" features an interesting take on the "sandragraph" print process. Genevieve had a geometric concept that I rendered using scraps of waste polymer stuck to a clean linoleum block. Kim was the braodside winner of our poetry contest.

May 1 marks the deadline for entering the Second Lettre Sauvage Poetry Contest. Hopefully a few entries will be hand-delivered. We're looking forward to all the poetry in store for us.

Our open studio parties are opportunities to show our work, demonstrate our presses and provide a backdrop for creative friends. In the past, our backyard has been transformed into a theater, our living room into a disco and our basement into an experimental noise happening. The photo below of our tarp/screen taken by John Nichols of the local gallery conjures memorable parties past.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Visit to Horn Press

Another beacon of book arts in Southern California, the Horn Press at UCLA, has been revived by Johanna Drucker in the School of Information Studies. We had the pleasure of visiting the press with members of the Southern California chapter of the American Printing History Association (APHA). In a little room on the fourth floor of the Broad Arts Center, one lovely old Vandercook SP15 sits in front of a window flanked by cases of type that fill the rest of the small space.

The press room is like a tiny berry bursting with the energy and brilliance of Johanna Drucker and her dedicated students. Johanna and her press just moved in last summer. They're energized and open to new ideas. Students have been crowding into the little press room creating exquisite corpse poems based on randomly selected themes. This is something we've enjoyed here at Lettre Sauvage along with the question and answer game in which half the printers set a questions and the other half answers to be randomly paired. Both of these are long-standing surrealist practices.

The image above is an amazing metal die- an uncatalogued item from the collection of the founder, Andrew Harlis Horn. This is clearly about an animal and a man caught in a primal relationship. The sheep (or goat) seems to see the man, while the man walks with his staff, his hood too low to watch the mountains and see the sheep. The water and air are impossibly one. Both figures -man and beast- absolutely dwarf civilization in a most romantic way.

Book Arts Gypsy Wagon

I am inspired by Peter and Donna Thomas, who are traveling the country on a book arts tour in a gypsy wagon they built together. I've heard of dream vacations, but this really appeals to my love of cohesion since it combines so many facets of their lives as they'll be working, living, touring, making friends and sharing this treasure they built together. Read about their journey. There's still time to catch them along the way.