Wind in the Willows deluxe edition work, CODEX VIII, and Manhattan VI



Since the completion of the standard edition of The Wind in the Willows I’ve been busy in the bindery working on the 10 deluxe copies of the book. There are an additional 9 books queued up for presentation bindings to fill orders placed in the past few months for my past books including The Intruder, In the Penal Colony, and The Mad Angler Poems so those will make reappearances here in the future in their new clothing as well. I seem to be more a binder than a printer these days….

I am usually loathe to share images of unfinished work and only a couple of these are even close to completion so apologies for the less than stellar images taken with my phone on the bench with plenty of glare. Quite a bit of leather onlay and underlay work, tooling, bits of foil and great fun refining binding structures. I stocked a fair amount of new leathers for this endeavor in both goat and calf as well as a few fair skins that I’ve dyed to suit my needs. These will all be in solander boxes when completed and accompanied by a suite of the 12 full size illustrations from the book.


This Friday I’m off to CODEX in Berkeley, CA for yet another gathering of fine press makers and book artists from around the globe. I’m excited to see everyone again and have volunteered to help Peter and Susan with all the gory details of show set-up, shopping and general flunky. That’s what friends do!

Visit me at Table 56 to see the new work and catch up.

New York

Upon returning from California I’ve a few days to repack for the Manhattan Fine Press Book Fair on Saturday, April 23rd from 10am – 5pm. The last “in-person” fair I did was Manhattan 2 years ago just as Covid was hitting the USA. I managed to escape back to Michigan unscathed (though quite a few friends were not so lucky) where I have been practicing social distancing and isolation for 30 years now here at DWP.

Winter was lacking in many ways here on the Michigan 45th parallel, bitter cold prevailed but not the kind of snowfall we have historically enjoyed, so cross country skijoring with the dog was a limited activity which is one of the things that keeps me sane during our long winters. Life was interrupted by a power outage during the holidays, I was out for 5 days but the worst part was when power was restored it dumped high voltage through all the buildings and AirBnB rental taking out the furnace controller, refrigerator, ceiling fans, gfci outlets, audio gear and all kinds of other little things that sometimes take weeks to discover. Needless to say, this took priority for a while along with all the fun of dealing with insurance, ordering and installing replacement items.

There is still snow outside as I type this though spring is around the corner. There are geese and ducks on the river verbally making themselves known to potential mates. Coyotes, fox and bobcats are on the prowl and the otters and beavers are enjoying their icy slides. On a sunny day last week I say my first turtle that had emerged from the winter muck to sun himself on a log. A few early hatches that the trout have ignored and when I return from New York trout season opener will have already happened here in Michigan on the 24th. Don’t worry, I’ll keep focusing in the bindery. Mostly. You know I’m looking forward to printing The Machine Stops this fall and the drawings we’re getting from Marc Castelli will blow your minds.

The Wind in the Willows ~ Finished


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I am very pleased to present the completed standard edition of The Wind in the Willows. It has been a long journey from inception, design, editing all the way through to printing and binding here at Deep Wood Press. I do everything “in house” and transforming the piles of paper, board, leather and cloth into books is always magic for me: True alchemy, turning lead to gold.

In my previous blog entry I was waiting on materials for the cover image hoping to use calf vellum, but in my tests the skin would not cooperate and I was unhappy with the results. I finally decided to acquire a couple natural fair goat skins and dyed them to the shade I wanted, which all took a little extra time but I am finally pleased with the results.

Once again the specifications: 75 standard edition copies of the book are quarter bound, rounded and backed, in a very dark moss green Natural Goat from Siegel Leather with a cinnamon cotton book cloth. The endpapers are a printed pattern on mocha Hahnemühle Bugra with a cloth inner hinge. The title is gilt in foil on the spine in copper and silver and the debossed panel on the front cover features Rat & Mole in a crossed oar emblem foiled in dull copper on grey-dyed goat. The text is set in 14pt Centaur with Arrighi and printed on custom-made, cotton rag paper from Papeterie Saint-Armand developed especially for this book. Interwoven throughout the book are thirteen multi-color and nine 2 color linocut illustrations by Vladimir Zimakov, with an introduction from Peter Hunt. All this in large format folio size; 148 pages, 10.25 x 14″ (26×35.5 cm). $2000.00

There are also 4 copies of the book left in sheets for purchase by other binders. Please inquire.

Initially the book was not specified to include a slipcase but given the number of people desiring such an enclosure (and I don’t blame you) I have materials on hand to produce slipcases to order in full black cloth for an additional $65. Please make a note on your order if you desire this to be added to your final purchase.

To purchase please go to the Mad Parrot website or follow this link.

Email invoices have gone out to our subscribers for their balance due, if you did not receive one please contact James for details via our Mad Parrot Press website.

Once again, the deluxe edition is sold out and no longer available.

Thank you for your patience. I am as excited to get these off to you as you are no doubt to receive them.

Update: James has set up a short video on YouTube with a slideshow of the book. Many more photos to be viewed than are shown here on the blog.

The Wind in the Willows nears completion!


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The Wind in the Willows is almost finished and will be shipping in November!

The 75 regular edition copies of the book are quarter bound, rounded and backed, in a very dark green Moroccan goat with a cinnamon cotton book cloth, the endpapers are a printed pattern on mocha Hahnemühle Bugra with a cloth inner hinge. The title is guilt in foil on the spine in copper and silver and a debossed panel on the front cover has Rat & Mole in a crossed oar emblem foiled in copper on dyed grey vellum. The text is set in 14pt Centaur and Arrighi and printed on a custom made cotton rag paper from Papeterie Saint-Armand developed especially for this book. Featuring thirteen multi color and nine 2 color illustrations by Vladimir Zimakov and an introduction from Peter Hunt, large format 10.25 x 14″ (26×35.5 cm)

Copies of the regular edition are still available and are available with a deposit at the

Mad Parrot Website

The pictures below are bench prototypes of the finished binding. The inset illustration on the cover will be done on a grey calf vellum and the patterned end papers will be printed this week. Stay tuned for finished photos coming soon!

The deluxe copies of the book are no longer available. Binding will commence on those copies as soon as the regular edition is complete. Look for pictures here in the future as these individual works of book binding explorations come to be. Inadvertently, one longtime customer was mis-marked as wanting a regular edition, to make everyone happy (I hope) there now will officially be eleven copies made in this way.

The printing has been completed and bindery work has been moving along full steam. The printing was all done on my Vandercook 219 OS proof press – nearly 800 runs on the press all hand fed and cranked with over 40 custom ink colors made. But recently it has been a great pleasure having past apprentices and students join in on the arduous process of bindery work. Daniel Schneider (Industrial Rust Press) and Tonya Baumhardt (Snow Fairy Cottage) have been especially instrumental with their more than capable skills and we’ve managed to have some good fun along the way as well. I began the printing of this book in late February of this year with snow drifting outside and today was the first snowstorm of the new winter coming on. Cycles of seasons and books continue here at Deep Wood Press.

This series of photos shows a loose progression from printing to collating, punching sections for sewing holes, cutting and paring the goat skin, foil stamping the title, sewing, rounding and backing and casing in the book blocks.