The Wind in the Willows printing has begun!

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At long last production has begun for our forthcoming edition of The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame. In mid January all the materials finally arrived and after checking the plate proofs and making the final plan for the process printing began in early February!

After escaping from Manhattan last spring I returned home to the north woods to quarantine and regroup for the coming projects. I had initially hoped to be printing by the middle of last summer with a projected book release for around the holidays. I’m sure it has been an interesting year for all of us during Covid-19 but securing bespoke items to print a very special book proved to be an exercise in patience and perseverance. Fortunately, all good things come to those who wait.

It has taken a full month of printing to complete the twelve 8 x 9½ inch color images that are featured in the book. Vladimir Zimakov created the original images via multi-color linoleum cuts. Each image requires three to six different colors, each is a separate run on the press in tight registration to create the completed image. Since this is the part of the printing where things can go wrong the most this is where we start! In all, some 14 custom colors were mixed and used. There are an additional 9 two color linoleum cuts which will also adorn the book.

At the current rate of printing I hope to be completed by the end of April and then the binding process will commence!

The Wind in the Willows was lovingly set by James Dissette in 14pt Centaur and Arrighi types. It has a page size of 10.5 x 14 inches (26.7 x 35.5cm), 140 pages not including illustrations, front or back matter, printed on a custom made cotton rag paper by Papeterie Saint-Armand. There are 10 sections for the book, each section contains 4 folded folios which is 16 pages. These sections are then sewn together in the final binding to create the book.


Seventy-five copies are available for sale at $2,000, Ten deluxe copies in individual presentation bindings by Chad Pastotnik starting at $2500. Also, five copies in sheets are available for binders at $1500.

There are still some copies available in both editions!

Our special thanks to those who put down their deposit long ago and have been willing to wait it out with us.

We accept checks, direct deposit or Paypal on the madparrotpress.com site. Routing and account information available on request.

Except for deposits, a 6% sales tax will be included upon final payment. Domestic shipping and insurance is $40. Shipping and insurance for international orders will be calculated per country.

Wind in the Willows Update

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Just got these linocut proofs shipped to me here in NY from Vladimir Zimakov in Boston to show off to those of you who will be making your way to Manhattan tomorrow for the FPBA Fine Press Book Fair at Saint Vincent Ferrer Church on 869 Lexington Ave. between 65th & 66th St.

Wayfarers All & Wild Wood proofs

As I mentioned in my last post – 2019 was a rough health year so in the interest of making 2020 start out even better I’m offering all regular edition books and broadsides currently in inventory for sale, tomorrow only, at a 10% discount! Internet orders too!

I’ve a commitment from Vladimir that we’ll have the rest of the linocuts by late spring! James Dissette and I have been getting many inquiries from all of you asking for one to be reserved or a solid availability date. I’m happy to report I plan to be printing then binding through the summer to get this much anticipated book out, most likely to debut at the Oak Knoll fair this fall. Once I get back to the studio from this NY trip we will get our last bits of organizing in place, secure the paper and start notifying those of you who have reserved about deposits.

Hope to see you tomorrow at the show!

Manhattan Fine Press Book Fair and other news.

Next week I will make my way to Manhattan for the 6th annual Fine Press Book Fair. Though I have gone back and participated in the show two or three other years I have very fond memories of the first fair and the great fun for those of us that journeyed there for it. A highlight being a lovely gathering of fellow printers at Jean Shiff’s home organized by Chris Adamson of the Books and Vines blog. So come join me and 40 other presses from around the world and descend into the ugly basement of the school of St. Vincent Ferrer at 869 Lexington Ave at 66th St on March 7th from 10am to 5pm.

For this years show I will have some lovely presentation bindings for my newly translated edition of Kafka’s In the Penal Colony, other books from my catalog and some progress to show for the forthcoming Wind in the Willows being done with my partner James Dissette and our Mad Parrot Press imprint. Vladimir Zimakov is still working away at the illustrations we’ve commissioned for the book. Otherwise the text layout is complete and edited, just waiting to plug in the images where appropriate. It should be forthcoming this summer for all of you who keep asking! I’m also making progress on my other new translation of Kafka’s The Hunter Gracchus but progress once again is being held up by my intaglio prints that will illustrate. They are mostly complete but my big intaglio press is in “Studio B” with the Linotype machine which is kept just above freezing in the winter months and I just can’t justify heating three buildings at the moment when the average temperature here is 25° Fahrenheit.

Some of the linocuts forthcoming from Vladimir

I’ve come to enjoy binding books again! Everything is done “in house” here at DWP from composition of the type via Linotype or handset, illustrations, printing to binding. In recent years I had totally burned out on edition binding even with the help of apprentices and the occasional student. Now my editions have become smaller and while I still do some edition binding a growing percentage of the books are becoming “one off” presentation bindings. Making books is rife with repetition with literally dozens of steps along the way to a finished product. Enjoying any part of the process is important to keep it seeming less like work! My apologies in advance to all the librarians and archivists as I keep lousy track of these things.

I see that it’s been roughly a year since my last post about my work, welcome to 2020! I wish that I had more news for you but 2019 was sort of a null year and the old adage of “no news is good news” unfortunately falls short in this case. Some routine medical procedures with complications started out the summer and upon full recovery from that I was shortly after diagnosed with Lyme Disease! The good news is that it was caught early and I’ve made pretty much a full recovery but lost months of studio work time as a result. Regardless, I’m one of the lucky ones. I have friends and family who weren’t diagnosed in time or misdiagnosed with this terrible disease and now suffer the full effects of it. A mere couple years ago this wouldn’t have even registered with doctors in Northern Michigan as a possibility but, unfortunately, the infected tick population has made its way here and now diligence must be made with the animals and, even more importantly, the kids looking for ticks and scanning for telltale bites with rings. My heart goes out to those of you in the Northeast and other parts of the country where this has become the new “normal”.