Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Misanthrope

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Such is this year's Halloween costume. The goal is total immersion -- not simply appearing as the character, but being the character. Inhabiting the alternative persona. Some years this is easier than others -- this year "becoming" the misanthrope shouldn't be too difficult at all.



Isn't that the most gorgeous publisher's binding? Quarter cloth, marbled sides, and the handwritten label -- it is quite a stunning combination of utilitarian elegance. (See David Pye, "The nature and art of workmanship")

reading Rombauer The Joy of Cooking
weather crisp

Friday, October 26, 2007

the future of print

Well, the future of printing in my studio. This is quite exciting news: tomorrow,

the Kelsey Press (5"x8") (pedigree: from Huron Press, Bruce Chandler) (for a description see http://excelsiorpress.org/kelsey.html )
meets the wood type (bought from John Barrett, http://www.letterpressthings.com/ ),
and combines with the Futura, Cheltenham old style, and Bookman,
with the super-amazing assistance from Wild Carrot Letterpress, Dan Keleher,

and printing begins in my studio! Pamphlets. Broadsides. Postcards. Christmas cards. Letterhead. Business cards.

All of these things, and more, but only if they are of a Very Frivolous Nature. For Earnest and Serious Printing needs, it would benefit all and sundry to look elsewhere.

Further frivolous printing can be seen at Quercus Press, the studio of the quite talented Johnny Carrera, who introduced me both to letterpress work and to the Red Sox. What a guy! Quercus Press is open on November 4, from noon to 5 pm.

reading Emily Post's Etiquette ($1, library book sale)
weather trying to rain

Friday, October 19, 2007

Fool, said my Muse to me, looke in thy heart, and write.

Have you read the Futurist Manifesto?
It begins:
We have been up all night, my friends and I, beneath mosque lamps whose brass cupolas are bright as our souls, because like them they were illuminated by the internal glow of electric hearts. And trampling underfoot our native sloth on opulent Persian carpets, we have been discussing right up to the limits of logic and scrawling the paper with demented writing.


teacup


I, too, have been commanded to write a manifesto.
In many respects, such is the purpose of this blog. There is obviously far too much navel-gazing to be of much entertainment value to the general readership, since joy can often only be transferred in person, and rarely indeed does actual joy transmit through written language.

Off, off, off, dreary exhaustion!

weather a dark and stormy night

Monday, October 15, 2007

a promotion, of sorts

Ferdinand, he who can do no wrong, just worked his way through the cell phone power cord. Again. It will soon be sent to the in-house electrician for additional repairs, along with the Dormeyer Mixwell, which requires new brushings. One day I will need to become proficient in electrical repairs. Hopefully that day remains in the far distant future. He was eyeing the laptop umbilical cord, but decided to content himself with purring gently.

So my job title has recently changed from "Conservator in Private Practice" to "Technical Art Historian, Freelance". My rates, likewise, have seen an increase of approximately 27.5%, in keeping with the expectations of this new title. This means that my business cards will need to be reprinted, but such mundane details are quite minor compared to the truly astounding conceptual shift of "Technical Art History". I mean, where did it come from? And why? And why has this new term not been discussed in any of the literature? Or do I read the wrong literature?

[see http://www.smith.edu/wsc/artofthematter/program.html]

reading: Katha Pollitt, "Learning to Drive"

weather clear

Sunday, October 14, 2007

To begin at the beginning


Autumn. Linens in storage and woolens airing on the porch. Cats napping in patches of sunlight.

Who are you? Why are you reading this? Are you a friend or a foe, or a past friend who has fallen into the gaps of memory?

My heart is wrapped in mothballs. Is reeking of mothballs. Is more content, settled, hidden in the dark recesses of the closet in a box within a box within a box, surrounded by tissue paper and naphthalene, waiting quietly for the appropriate season to appear. Colette wrote ' Retreat from Love'; she wrote 'Break of Day'; she understood. The efforts involved in giving away the best of oneself require exertion too great to be sustained.

The rejuvenation of the nap in the sunbeam.