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The Next Chapter in the Making of "Master and Commander"
Printing Is Nearly Complete!
For the last several weeks, we have been obsessed by printing. Despite difficult environmental conditions – this week, temperatures in the printshop reached 90F/32C with 80% humidity – we have made tremendous progress. By the end of this week, we will have completed more than 75% of the printing of Master and Commander. We are on track to finish ahead of schedule (*knock on wood*)!
With so much time spent on the press, however, any energy to write reflect deeply and write has been drained away. The work has got me thinking often about those pressmen of the past – like the brilliant Henry Gage-Cole (https://ampersandbookstudio.substack.com/p/a-pressman-for-the-ages) who spent a lifetime mastering the craft. I continue to love the Heidelberg “Windmill” press, although, as I wrote last year (https://ampersandbookstudio.substack.com/p/tilting-at-windmills), it is a complex relationship. And I have had a roving eye, of late… I suspect that another press – a Heidelberg cylinder press – is in my future.
Subscription Second Installment
Once we finish the printing in a couple of weeks, we will be sending all backers with a link where they can remit the second installment for the book. At that time, we will also begin shipping to those who ordered the unbound “Bookbinder’s Edition.” Then it is on to binding the lettered and numbered editions, a complex process which will take time. It will be exciting to see the pages begin to take shape as books.
Illustrations and Notecards
While we have been printing the book here in Tucson, Carlos Kirovsky has been hard at work completing the illustrations in his studio in Brazil. We are now in the process of preparing them for printing. As we have been deep in the printing of the book, the timeline for the notecards has been pushed back. We now anticipate that they will be completed to ship in mid-September. In compensation for the delay, we will be expanding the notecard set; we will include 13 notecards – all of the illustrations from the book – rather than the 6 originally promised. It will be a wonderful collection.
Once they are ready for printing, I will be posting the illustrations, along with a blog post about the process of their creations. For now, just know that the notecards are still forthcoming.
As we prepare to move into the binding phase, we have been assembling materials and new tools. Once things calm down, I plan to highlight some of the artisan toolmakers without whom we could not make books… an English woodworker who crafts the world’s best bookbinding presses at his workshop in Portugal… a remarkable bookbinder turned toolmaker in Greece… an engraver in England who crafts the brass tools used in applying 22k gold decorations to leather.
In the meantime, I wish you all cooler weather and fair seas.