For John, his “Book Day” was when he came to Catchmays Court to see, and handle, the sample copy of the Main and Special editions of his great work, hot from the binders.
I had previously printed small editions of some of the mighty woodcuts from the book and John signed and annotated this (one of my great favourites) to remember the occasion.
The group from the previous post had reconvened, with the addition of Beith, an artist friend of John’s, and a fine time we had admiring the binder’s workmanship and, above all, the magnificence of John’s images.
We were seeing the cover for the first time –
and elements of the Special Edition, such as the portfolio of superb images that do not appear in the book
and the recess in the bottom of the box that fits, for each of the fortunate owners of the Special Edition, one of the actual linocut blocks used in the printing of the book
When the party had left, I was able to set about the necessary photography of the book and the results can now be seen on our website – with full details.
As the double-page spread is so wide, only a general idea can be given of the full sweep of the great images on the usual ‘slideshow’ so I have taken a number of photographs of ‘details’. Some were posted earlier and a couple are given here.
I could not resist including a good number more on the webpage as I was fascinated to find how powerful an experience it was to look at a large woodcut and then to zoom in on just the expression of a face or the brilliantly effective woodcutting to depict a coil of barbed wire.
So, now I will leave you with yet another photograph of John Abell being justly proud of his handiwork
and, finally, one of Bill Garnett . . . also studying John’s book but, for some reason, looking like a Renaissance saint!