Print, fold, press, bind, trim… and launch!

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’…

She Fell In Love Illustration
© Lili Holland-Fricke 2017

 

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… 🙂

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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…

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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.

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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…

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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.

King Edward Street Chapel

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.

Jo Bell

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.

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I got to sign my name as an author. 🙂

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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.

Chips

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, email me at hello@moormaidpress.co.uk. Copies are £5 each, UK P&P is £1.50. Just let me know if you’d like to pay by Paypal or cheque.

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Beginnings…

Hello. I’ve never felt the need to blog before but now, here I am, preparing to add a few of my words to the oh-so-many already out there…

Over the next seven months or so these posts will cover my current venture — writing, designing and printing a poetry pamphlet. I’m very excited, and very grateful, to have been awarded an Arts Council Grant for the Arts and want to document the various stages of the project.

One of the brilliant things is the great people I’ll get to work with. I will be mentored by Mimi Khalvati (mimikhalvati.co.uk), talk about sequencing with Jo Bell (belljarblog.wordpress.com) and learn how to use a risograph with Lisa Lorenz (nous-magazine.de). I will print the pamphlet myself at the wonderful Print Mill in Macclesfield (facebook.com/pg/theprintmillmacc, home to creative types EllieMollyRalph and Rory.

I’m thrilled to have a studio at the Print Mill to write and design in. It even has a view of my beloved hills.

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I’ll be posting updates once a month or so – maybe more often if I get over-excited occasionally. You can follow me on twitter if you like… @ailsaholland.

Let the work begin!

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(Anyone who’s interested in stuff I’ve done up till now can find information on moormaidpress.co.uk. It includes performances, publications and projects including poems on streets; word art; a woven poem; and two free libraries — one in Macclesfield, and one on the border of the Peak District. There’s also a link to a photo-poem blog, ailsaandlisa.wordpress.com.)

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