Jerry Dennis, Glenn Wolff and I decided to get together and produce a second edition of our first project together – the long gone, highly sought after and divinely inspired The Trout in Winter.
We can’t remember when it was exactly, around 10 years ago we were probably maddened by the off season and inspired enough to do something about it. We printed 60 copies back then, no pictures or other documentation beyond a few mushy proofs and half set type samples. We sold them fast and we sold them for little money. The one good copy that I thought I had actually turned out to be a variation on the final text layout which was unfortunate because I used it as a template for setting the new type and when Glenn showed up with his last remaining print we all remembered the old story.
As the text is all hand set type and from a case of large display size type (24pt) one tends to have a very finite number of each individual letter. I realized we would quickly run out of lower case “e” and asked Jerry if he wouldn’t mind if we judiciously italicized some words, preferably words with “e”s. Even so far as changing some words on the fly (wonderful to have the author present while setting type) as most profoundly evidenced by the last line where the final word in the manuscript was “leave” but was sacrificed and changed to “go”. All in the futile grasp for artistic perfection and keep the body type all the same throughout the broadside!
We’re somewhat more refined now so we thought we might attempt to express that for this edition as well. Glenn’s copper engraving didn’t do well in the years of idle storage, he made up for it by engraving an additional “remark” on the plate. Some of the lighter detail was quite difficult to wipe so again our edition is limited to 72 pulled copies, maybe we got 65 good prints out of it and now the plate is permanently retired. I took advantage of the opportunity to re-set the type composition, while it is faithful to the original now the capitals have been mortised properly, ligatures added and a much better job on the print quality from the press.
We’ll decide a price when we get together this weekend after the paper is dry (it needed to be soaked for the intaglio printing and kept damp for the letterpress run) to sign and number the edition. We’ll announce when and where you can get it by Monday.
Click on any image for the big picture slideshow.
Jerry and Glenn admiring “The Intruder”
Scheming the new changes
Glenn’s intaglio plate
Wiping the intaglio plate
Jerry takes a turn at the intaglio press
hand set type form on press
Fancy type mortising (kerning)
Hand inking the gold initials with a small brayer
Cranking the Vandercook
A printed sheet next to the type form
The Trout in Winter
. . . and charge the big hook jaws . . .
The new edition of The Trout in Winter
Words – the only poem Jerry Dennis claims to have ever written
Intaglio – Glenn Wolff’s deft hand with graver and copper plate.
Printed on Somerset Velvet paper buff and composed in Baskerville type, mostly in 24 pt size. Paper is 15.25 x 22.5″ and the intaglio plate is 17.5 x 12″. Printed on a 26 x 47″ BAG Intaglio Press and a Vandercook 219 Old Style here at Deep Wood Press