Three Yeats Books

This set of three books of William Butler Yeats’ poetry were designed and printed towards the end of 2015, the year which celebrated the 150th anniversary of Yeats’ birth. I had the opportunity to work with Yeats’ poetry for a number of projects during the year but wanted to take the chance to make my own books.

Each book contains one longer poem on which a three page fold-out linocut is based, as well as a selection of four or five shorter poems. The linocuts for each were exhibited earlier in the year with the Hamilton Gallery offsite at the Hawk’s Well Theatre as part of my exhibition, ‘Words and Fragments’. The linocuts had always been planned with these particular poems in mind and to fold down to fit within the books.

They were set in 18 point Caslon and printed on 170gsm Somerset Book on the Arab treadle press at my workshop. The accompanying fold out linocuts were inked by hand and printed on 250gsm Somerset Velvet using the Farley proofing press in Graphic Studio Dublin. They have been printed in an edition of 50, the first 20 of which (deluxe) are quarter bound in cloth with a printed cover and contain a three plate linocut. The other 30 (standard) are bound in Hahnemuhle Bugra Butten paper with a single colour linocut. A set of the deluxe is presented in a slip case. The deluxe binding was undertaken by Duffy Bookbinders. The bound size is approximately 17cm x 24 cm.

The three books and their contents are:
Wild Swans at Coole
He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven
When you are old
A Coat
The White Birds

Sailing to Byzantium
The Choice
No Second Troy
Red Hanrahan’s Song about Ireland

The Song of Wandering Aengus
Down by the Salley Gardens
Who Goes with Fergus
An Irish Airman Foresees his Death
The Lake Isle of Innisfree

The books were launched at the Winter Fair at the National Print Museum at the end of November and I was delighted with the very complimentary responses I received.

The three plate linocuts have also been printed in editions of 50 and are available in the Hamilton Gallery in Sligo and Graphic Studio Gallery in Dublin.

Book prices:
The deluxe are priced at €85 or €250 for the set of three. The standard paper covered are priced at €45. Please contact me directly for sales!

 

The Mountain Ash

 

the-mountain-ash

This broadside was commissioned by the poet Joan McBreen and published by Artisan House Editions, based in Letterfrack, Co.Galway.

Artisan House, run by Mary Ruddy & Vincent Murphy, asked me to design and set the text of the poem, The Mountain Ash, to accompany an etching by the artist Margaret Irwin West. The finished broadside was launched to a great response at the Clifden Arts Festival on the 19th September by the poet Des Kavanagh.

It was a pleasure to work with Mo Irwin. We had a number of discussions by phone about how the etching and text would work together and the logistical details of the two printmaking methods. Mary and Vincent oversaw everything, keeping in great contact with Joan, Mo and myself.

The broadside was produced in a limited edition of 150 copies. Mo’s etching of a Rowan tree with detail of the leaves is presented beside the text of the poem set in 18pt Caslon Old Face. Mo printed each copy of her etching herself on her press at her home outside Clifden, Co Galway. I then set the text of The Mountain Ash at The Belgrave Private Press and printed it on the large Farley proofing press at Graphic Studio Dublin. The typeface chosen was Caslon, in part due to Joan’s affection for the broadsides of the Cuala Press printed by Elizabeth Yeats and featuring the images of Jack Yeats. The broadside was printed on BFK Rives grey paper which gives a great richness to the final piece. In advance of the launch, 30 copies were framed in a waxed ash by local framer Pete Coneally and the remaining copies are presented in a cloth bound folder.

It was a great project to be involved with and I’m delighted with the final piece. It is available from Artisan House Editions www.artisanhouse.ie

It was my first time at Clifden Arts Festival and I was sorry I couldn’t stay longer. The “singing in the bookies” evening sounded particularly entertaining!

Upcoming Letterpress Courses

Here are some details of letterpress courses I’m teaching this June & July in Distillers Press and The National Print Museum. I’m a bit late advertising as the one day course in the National Print museum has already booked out but do keep an eye on their website for future courses.

Distillers Press, NCAD
Three Day Course, Monday 29th June to Wednesday 1st July, 10am to 4pm each day

Designed for beginners or those with some knowledge of typography, graphic design or relief printing, this new course offers a fantastic opportunity to gain access to the Distillers Press, the only working letterpress facility in third level education in Ireland. The course will begin with an induction to the workshop, an overview of letterpress printing with examples of artists’ & designers’ work, an explanation of hand setting and an introduction to the use of the press. Following the first day’s introduction participants will cover two-colour printing and the use of wood and metal type to create their own work under supervision. This may take the form of prints, posters, simple books, cards or stationery, printed in a small run. The course will provide an excellent overview of the processes and materials involved in letterpress printing. A certain amount of quality paper will be provided but additional sheets may be purchased during the course if needed. Max. 8 people.

Book with CEAD, Continuing Education at NCAD: www.ncad.ie/continuing-education/prospectus/

The timetable of Summer courses being offered in 2015 along with the application form is now available here: www.ncad.ie/files/cead_files/CEAD_Summer_2015.pdf

Full descriptions of the courses can be found in the brochure Summer 2015:
www.ncad.ie/files/cead_files/Summer_2015_web.pdf

National Print Museum
5th July, 10.30am – 4.30pm
BOOKED OUT!

This course will introduce people to letterpress printing, specifically using the Vandercook proofing press. After an introduction to the typecase and instruction on how to set type, each participant will set their own piece of text using metal and/or wood type. Each participant should prepare a short quote, saying or excerpt of prose or poetry that they would like to set and print. The result will be a card or small print in a short edition.

metal paragraph

Presidential Printing

I had the honour this year of printing some very special books of Yeats poetry which mark Yeats2015, the year-long celebration of the 150th anniversary of the birth of William Butler Yeats.

The books were presented to President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny in Washington DC to mark Saint Patrick’s Day.

Dedication_crop

U.S. President Barack Obama holds a book of poetry by William Butler Yeats given to him by Ireland's Prime Minister Enda Kenny (L) during their meeting in the Oval Office as part of a St. Patricks Day visit at the White House in Washington March 17 2015. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

U.S. President Barack Obama holds a book of poetry by William Butler Yeats given to him by Ireland’s Prime Minister Enda Kenny (L) during their meeting in the Oval Office as part of a St. Patricks Day visit at the White House in Washington March 17 2015. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

The commission was brought to me by Senator Susan O’Keeffe, Chair of Yeats2015. Each book is 20 pages and contains a different selection of 12 poems by WB Yeats, set in 12pt Caslon with titles in 18pt Caslon Italic. The selection of poems in each book was chosen by Senator O’Keeffe and Professor Margaret Mills Harper. The intention of Yeats2015 is to commemorate the entire Yeats family – Jack, Elizabeth and Susan and their father John – as well as the Nobel prize winning WB. It is with this in mind that the design of the books is inspired by the publications of the Cuala Press, which was run by the Yeats sisters, also known as Lily & Lolly.

Each book has a unique title page with a personalised dedication. They were printed on Zerkall mould made paper on an Arab treadle press at my workshop in Rathmines, Dublin. They were then bound in goatskin and embellished with gold and blind tooling by Benjamin van de Wetering of the Ox Bindery, based in the Ox Mountains outside Tubbercurry Co. Sligo.

I am currently coming to the end of another project for Yeats2015: a 12 page book of Yeats poetry which contains five poems and two linocuts. This is also quite special but is in a far larger edition of 400. These projects have been supported by Yeats2015, the Western Development Commission, the Department of Arts, Heritage & the Gaeltacht and the Design & Craft Council of Ireland. It was while preparing for this larger edition book that Susan began to talk to me about the ‘special books’ and they remained described as such for a number of months before she let me in on the secret of who they were for! It has been a fantastic experience and an honour to design and produce something that is presented on behalf of the country and commemorates the Nobel prize winning poet.

Detail_Title

Setting the dedication page

Here are some links to more media reports on the book:

www.yeats2015.com

www.thejournal.ie

There is a video about the making of the book which forms part of this article on The Independent’s website. The video was produced by BigOMedia who visited me in my workshop and then travelled to Sligo and filmed in The Ox Bindery:

www.independent.ie

and a photo gallery of their meeting including an image of President Obama with the book

www.independent.ie/irish-news/galleries

www.irishtimes.com

Exquisite Editions

I’m delighted to have been invited to exhibit at the National Print Museum as part of this beautiful exhibition ‘Exquisite Editions’.

25 books from Irish and International Fine Presses have been selected by the shows curator, Jamie Murphy of The Salvage Press. All are printed letterpress, in limited edition and I’m honoured to have my book ‘Eveline’ included in their company. The exhibition is beautifully presented and the first time some of these books will have graced our shores so well worth a trip.

It is open daily in the National Print Museum and continues until 18 April.

Eveline

An International Exhibition of Finely Printed Books

For the first time in Ireland, this exhibition brings together 25 outstanding books from the world’s leading contemporary fine press printers. All the books are letterpress printed in limited editions and many have been illustrated through a variety of means including wood engraving, woodcut, linoleum and other fine art processes. Exhibiting alongside the work of several Irish presses will be books from the UK, USA, Canada, Sweden, New Zealand, Australia and the Netherlands.

4 March – 18 April 2015

Free Admission

www.nationalprintmuseum.ie

See here for an article about the exhibition in the Irish Times 21 March 2015 : www.irishtimes.com

Setting & Printing for Tim Goulding

 

Tim Goulding has been coming to Graphic Studio Dublin as a visiting artist since the 1960s and recently made a beautiful set of six prints there that form part of his current exhibition at the Taylor Galleries, Kildare Street.

While working in the studio last year Tim asked me to set and print some of his poetry to accompany the prints he was making. Apart from being a fabulous artist and member of Aosdána, Tim is also a musician and poet and wanted to include some of his poetry with his recent prints for ‘Patching the Void’.

This January I had the pleasure of setting six of his poems in some lovely freshly cast Centaur from the Whittington Press. Each poem was printed alongside a multi plate etching on a sheet of Zerkall German Etch. It was a pleasure to work with Robert Russell & Siobhan Hyde who editioned the etchings and a great learning experience as we got the rollers on the Farley galley press back in action.

Each etching is printed in an edition of 30 with the first 13 of each edition including the poem. A boxed set of the six prints & poems is presented in a beautiful black cloth-covered clamshell box made in Cork by Barbara Hubert Bookbinders.

It is a really wonderful exhibition and I’m delighted to have been involved.

The exhibition continues until 7 March.

www.taylorgalleries.ie/Tim-Goulding-Patching-the-Void

 

National Print Museum Winter Fair

christmas posters

I’m back at the National Print Museum Winter Fair this year and I also have a card in their Christmas Card exhibition ‘Making a Festive Impression’.  I’ll have a selection of prints and posters as well as letterpress printed Christmas cards and gifts.

It is a lovely event and something I look forward to each year!

Come along for some festive atmosphere, get some Christmas shopping done and treat yourself to some mulled wine and goodies from their on-site cafe Press.

 

WINTER FAIR

National Print Museum
28, 29 and 30 November

Now in its fourth year, the National Print Museum’s Fair returns! The mezzanine level of the museum will transform into a winter wonderland with market stalls selling all sorts of unique Christmas gifts.

Families can enjoy arts and crafts activities at our Education Area and print their own Santa letter on the Farley Proofing Press.
The onsite café Press will be open and serving tasty, seasonal treats.

Visitors will also have the opportunity to view ‘Making a Festive Impression’, an exhibition of hand-printed Christmas cards on loan from private collections. This seasonal exhibition will showcase some new designs by contemporary designers using the medium of letterpress. Some original limited edition cards will be for sale, so visitors can start their very own collections!

Opening hours:

Friday                    16.00 – 20.00

Saturday              11.00 – 16.00

Sunday                 11.00 – 16.00

Free Admission.

National Print Museum, Beggars Bush Barracks, Haddington Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4
For more information, please call 01 6603770 or email info@nationalprintmuseum.ie
 www.nationalprintmuseum.ie

Dublin Art Book Fair

The Dublin Art Book Fair takes place in Temple Bar Gallery + Studios this weekend and my book ‘Eveline’ will be on the artists books table. It’s a wonderful opportunity to see artists books from all over Ireland and further afield.  The fair opens Thursday 6-8, Friday/Saturday 11-6 and Sunday 1-6.

There are a number of talks and other events taking place as part of the fair and details of these can found on their website: templebargallery.com

And while you’re in Temple Bar take a look in Graphic Studio Gallery where Louise Leonard & Jean Bardon are exhibiting new works!
Graphic Studio Gallery

Dublin Art Book Fair

VUE at RHA

Graphic Studio Gallery will be at VUE art fair this weekend at the RHA. I’ll be there myself on Saturday afternoon and I’m delighted my book ‘Eveline’ will form part of the GSG display. Other galleries taking part include Taylor Galleries, Peppercanister Gallery, Jorgensen Fine Art, Fenderesky Gallery, Oliver Sears Gallery, Hilsboro Fine Art, SO Fine Art, Molesworth Gallery, Stoney Road Press, Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, Green on Red, Eight Art Gallery, Cross Gallery, Solomon Fine Art, Catherine Hammond Gallery, James Wray Gallery, Olivier Cornet Gallery, Claremorris Art Gallery and Irish Arts Review.

VUE opens tonight, Thursday 30th Oct at 6–8pm and continues Friday, Saturday and Sunday 11–6.

The RHA is also hosting the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland’s annual PORTFOLIO exhibition this weekend making it the on-stop-shop for the best of Irish Art and Design. 

 

Before the new red houses

Before the new red houses