We have posted to some people that we have both now celebrated our eightieth birthdays and realise that we should allow ourselves to go a little slower. Standing at a press all day especially in the cold of winter is exhausting and so we have plans for several projects which only involve editions of 26 lettered copies. However, the artists involved are producing imagery combining printing and hand colouring on single sheets enfolded in paper on which poetry texts are printed.
During the production of the unusual Talking through Trees we saw quite a bit of Angela Lemaire and Edward Picton-Turbervill. They operated entirely through email and had never met. Ed was drawn to Angela’s work when he first met us at the ABA Fair at Olympia and as time went on he saved up to buy some of her books. He then showed us what he had been writing about trees in Cambridge while he was at St John’s College as organ scholar. It appealed to us and Angela we know to be passionate about trees especially given that she works in wood – cutting and engraving. What better than to put these two together. Once our book was completed and St John’s College had a very special hand coloured version bound for their library and an edition reproduced by litho for the College it seemed that the two involved should meet at last. Ed went to Jedburgh to explore trees there including the Capon Tree said to be the oldest tree in the British Isles. Quite an occasion we gather.
After all that, Angela was yet again excited by a text set to music by Benjamin Britten (think of A Christmas Sequence and Jubilate Agno) and so Nicolas printed her blocks and she delicately coloured them by hand for The Corpus Christi Carol, the first of these small editions.
Vernon Watkins, friend and contemporary in Swansea of Dylan Thomas, wrote some magnificent poetry which is being celebrated fifty years after his death. Some years ago Glenys Cour made collaged images for Taliesin and the Mockers – somewhat akin to a creation myth and now she is completing images for Peace in the Welsh Hills which holds great promise. Meanwhile, Nicolas who finds a need to visit the sea and relishes stormy, crashing waves over the rocks and cliffs of South Wales discovered that Vernon shared that love expressed in his poem Hunt’s Bay. He treated photographs to enhance the stark black and white of rocks and waves on the shore and the two are now published together in a similar manner to The Corpus Christi Carol