I am Chad Pastotnik, proprietor of Deep Wood Press which I established in 1992 when I purchased my little piece of paradise and built my first studio on the property. Nestled in the forest along the banks of the Cedar River in Northern Michigan’s Antrim County, Deep Wood Press has continued a centuries old tradition of hand-made books, bindings and other printed matter. With a foundation in fine art and a careful attention to craftsmanship and detail the end result is, hopefully, more than a vehicle for information.
It is very important to me to maintain the traditional practices of printmaking, letterpress and book binding. The fine press world is somewhat moving away from analog composition but, admittedly, it is very difficult to set up a traditional print shop in the 21st century. Most of the type and specialized equipment is long gone so having put together a collection of very functional “vintage” equipment and desirable typefaces the best way to maintain it is to use it.
My books are printed via letterpress on fine papers and are illustrated with art work from original wood engravings, lino cuts and intaglio prints created directly by the artist. The text is from metal type cast here on a Linotype composition castor or hand set from the type cases. These sheets are then bound by hand in traditional and contemporary book structures using fine leathers, book cloth and papers often with a slipcase or drop spine box to hold them. All this is done here in one place. Each aspect of a book conceived, created and finished in these two buildings. Maybe not fast but I find it quite satisfactory.
Most of my inspiration comes from a deep admiration of what was done by fine printers from the 16th though early 20th century, a classical sensibility. Admittedly I have little taste for more “modern” styles, even shying away from sans types for the most part though having a healthy collection of type of that sort. I was fortunate to have been given a gift of a fellow printers library in the early 90’s. Though I never knew the man I came to know his friends quite well by their inscriptions to him in the books they gave him: Morris, Grabhorn, Rogers, Updike, Cleland, Dwiggins – these are the men I mostly learned my craft from and they led me back further to the printers past that they in turn held in awe. Since then I’ve been fortunate enough to examine Guttenberg bibles, Copernicus’s note-book, illuminated manuscripts from the hand of Irish monks and I know by all these things that I have oh so far to go. I’ll keep trying.
I get to share my wonderful adventure with my wife, Kathryn, and our two children, Nadia and Jude. While there are plenty of distractions, work in the studio is never work (well almost never) and being able to raise a family in such a wonderful environment is something we’re thankful for every day. Oh yes, and then there’s the trout…
- Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
- Princeton University Graphic Arts Library, Princeton, NJ
- Stanford University, Green Library, Special Collections, Stanford, CA
- Newberry Library, Chicago, IL
- Johns Hopkins University, Garrett Library, Baltimore, MD
- Lafayette College, Skillman Library, Easton, PA
- University of Michigan, Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library, Ann Arbor, MI
- University of Iowa, Special Collections, Iowa City, IA
- Auckland City Libraries, Central City Special Collections, Auckland, New Zealand
- Oxford University, Bodleian Library Special Collections, Oxford, UK
- Kendall College of Art & Design, Grand Rapids, MI
- Brown University, Rockefeller Library, Providence, RI
- Grove Park Inn Resort, Asheville, NC
- Brigham Young University, Harold B. Lee Library & Hull Library (both), Provo, UT
- Library of Michigan, Lansing, MI
- Michigan State University, Special Collections Library, East Lansing, MI
- Grand Valley State University, Special Collections, Allendale, MI
- University of Texas at El Paso, Carl Hertzog Collection, El Paso, TX
- Western Michigan University, Waldo Library, Kalamazoo, MI
- Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, Special Collections, Topeka, KS
- Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, Buffalo, NY
- The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
- New York Public Library, Special Collections, Rare Books, New York, NY
- St. Ambrose University Library, Special Collections, Davenport, IA
- Scripps College, Denison Library Special Collection, Claremont, CA
- University of California Santa Cruz, McHenry Library, Santa Cruz, CA
- St. Ambrose University Library, Special Collections, Davenport, IA
- Library of Congress, Washington DC
- Harvard University, Widener Library, Cambridge, MA
- Kent State University, Wick Poetry Center, Kent, OH
* Representation by Vamp & Tramp Booksellers – Bill and Vicky Stewart, Birmingham, AL
University of Oxford, Oxford United Kingdom, “Sonnets 2016” Shakespeare’s sonnets in observance of the 400th anniversary of his death. 11/16 Also production of a “term card” for the Oxford Society of Bibliophiles.
National Print Museum, Dublin, Ireland “Exquisite Editions, An International Exhibition of Finely Printed Books” International invitational exhibit of 25 fine press printers.
- University of Pennsylvania, Penn Libraries/Kislak Center, Philadelphia, PA “Color in American Fine & Private Press Books 1890-2015” The Jean-Francois Vilain & Roger S. Wieck Collection.
- PBS television feature – Chad will be featured in a new nationally shown PBS television series A Craftsman’s Legacy in episode 11 titled “The Bookmaker”. The show will begin airing in September 2014 and will also be distributed internationally.
- CODEX International Book Fair and Symposium, CODEX 2/15, 2/17
- Oak Knoll Book Fest 2008 – present
- Manhattan Fine Press Book Fair, FPBA 2014 – 2016
- Attendance and participation at the Kerrytown Bookfest since inception in 2002. Guest speaker at the 2009-2014 events.
- Feature Article in The Flyfish Journal. Written by James Spica Jr., Winter 2014
- Published: 1000 Artist’s Books, a gallery-style book by Sandra Salamony with consulting editors and co-curators Peter and Donna Thomas. Rockport Publishers/Quarry Books. 2012
- Commissioned work, Michigan State Archives. Reproducing historic Michigan iconography and maps from imagery and sometimes original plates via letterpress and intaglio for Archives use. 2011 – present
- Feature Article in ForeWord Reviews magazine, Sept/Oct 2011
- Instructor at the Hollander’s School of Book & Paper Arts in Ann Arbor, MI. 2008-2012
- Visiting Lecturer – Analog Design in a Digital World – sponsored by Teesside University in Middlesbrough, Cleveland College of Art in Hartlepool and Keynote speaker for a letterpress conference Designing for Printing: Books, Letterpress Printing & Design at Chetham’s Library in Manchester, England, 2010
- Featured Review for the book Heart of Darkness in Parenthesis, The Journal of the Fine Press Book Association. Issue 19, Autumn, 2010
- Award Recipient the Carl Hertzog Award for excellence in book design, 2010
- Fine Press Book Association
- The Guild of Book Workers-National and Regional Chapter
- Mid America Print Council
- Wood Engravers Network