So the many-staged process of making a physical object began… Those who know me know of my great love for medieval manuscripts. Beyond the beauty of their colours, I like the interplay of visual images and text and wanted some form of illustration for my pamphlet. Lili Holland-Fricke, my daughter, created wonderful circular pen drawings to chime with some of the poems. This for example for the poem that provides the pamphlet’s title: ‘She Fell in Love from Twenty-Four Miles Up’…
I’d chosen a font – PT Serif – and laid out the poems. Adding the illustrations made me shift the text around a bit until the balance looked right.
I printed the inside pages first, letting the ink dry on each side before printing the reverse. The Risograph requires gentle handling… 🙂
The cover I’d designed had four colours – blue, red, green and black – so each cover had to go through the Risograph four times.
Again, each colour had to be allowed to dry before the next one went on ‘on top’. And printing the blue meant printing each cover individually so the ink wouldn’t smudge on the next sheet coming through…
Then came the long but meditative process of folding – one sheet at a time. The covers had to be scored with a bone folder before folding to ensure a clean line. My advisor in this process was the lovely Rory Clifford, graphic designer and colleague at the Print Mill. He also showed me how to stitch the pamphlets by hand after rubbing the thread with beeswax. We decided to produce a limited edition of 25 stitched pamphlets – most of these were stitched by Rory.
The rest I stapled efficiently and prosaically. 🙂 Next the pamphlets had to be clamped under a board to press them flat – I did them in batches of five – then trimmed with a craft knife against a steel rule to remove the uneven edges. Then, barely 10 days later, they were finished…
Now came the lovely and terrifying bit – sharing the pamphlet with the world. The launch was in the beautiful King Edward Street Chapel in Macclesfield.
Lili Holland-Fricke played the cello as people arrived and then Jo Bell did a fabulous job of MC’ing, as always, making everyone laugh and feel welcome, and reading a few of her fabulous poems.
Just over thirty people had come to celebrate with us and the warm friendly atmosphere meant that I wasn’t all that nervous in the end.
I got to sign my name as an author. 🙂
And then Twenty-Four Miles Up was well and truly launched and a few of us went to eat chips to celebrate at Waters Green Fish Bar. Tel even gave me a special shiny fork in celebration.
And so, on to the next project or several… Thanks for reading!
If you’d like to buy a copy of Twenty-Four Miles Up (£5, or £6 for a hand-stitched pamphlet while stocks last), email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Copies are £5 each (or £6 for a hand stitched pamphlets while stocks last). UK P&P is £1.50. Just let me know if you’d like to pay by Paypal or cheque.