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Sixty (2017) Robert Browning. 2 ½ by 1 ½ inches. Accordion, wooden covers, printed with wood type. Made for Donna’s 60th birthday. 60 copies. $60.

Artists' Statement:

This book was made by Peter to celebrate Donna's 60th birthday. The text was letterpress printed on Peter's handmade paper. The first press runs were made with found printers cuts of cows grazing in fields. The image was first printed on the tympan - so it would offset and print as a ghost image the back side of the paper. The ghosted images were intended to make a nonspecific statement about how the past can either haunt us or provide a fertile field for pleasant memories. The block was then reversed and printed in a second color the same way. Finally all sheets were curated - if the ghost image was too light the sheet was reprinted (with little ink and little pressure) to mimic the ghost prints. The next layer of printing was the numbers: 60606060 printed across the full length of the accordion page. Different sizes of wood type numbers were used for each side of the page. Next the quotes were printed, one quote per side. The Browning quote was printed with transparent black ink - so the printing underneath would ghost through. This was intended reinforce the nonspecific statement about the past. Then the anonymous statement about Celsius versus Fahrenheit was printed on the other side. Finally the title and colophon information were added under that line of text. In all there were about a million press runs made to print this book. The binding is made using sustainably harvested rosewood, off-cuts from guitars made at the Santa Cruz Guitar Company. The SCGC chooses each piece of wood specifically for its quality as a tone wood, so when you beat on our book with a mallet it will sound better than most other books would sound. The title is hot stamped into the front cover. Each time a cover is stamped the type is smashed and new type is required, a final act reinforcing the nonspecific statement about the results of the passing of time.




© 2002 Peter and Donna Thomas