Paul L. Kershaw
PRINTMAKER & PRINTER
A third book of poems
by Phil Madden and
Paul L. Kershaw.
175 x 215mm, 20pp
Edition sold out
The book is printed on Atsukuchi and Kozuke paper, using an Albion handpress and a cylinder press. There are 60 copies in the edition. The setting is Magma. It is cloth bound with a stab binding and housed in a matching slipcase. The design, graphics, printing and binding are by Paul L. Kershaw.
This book has as its theme the seashore, the space shared by sea and land. Both text and image are centred horizontally along a single line, and the in/out cycle of the tides has inspired various structural pairings and dualities. The binding style, which doesn’t allow the book to lie open, is in part intended to suggest restless motion.
Printing began on each leaf before it was folded, with the chosen ‘damp stain’ design divided into one or two plates. The source of these designs were a series of experiments with dyes and small pieces of absorbent paper. They were folded several times and held tightly during dipping, then opened out to dry. Often the paper was refolded and dipped several times. Once scanned, specific parts of the design were selected for enlargement and platemaking.
The text frame was printed next, followed by the text itself, which was also printed from photopolymer plates. Last to be printed was the more illustrative content. Small images selected from the text are mostly wood engravings, though some like those found on the centre folded page began as woodcuts and have been reduced to the required sizes and made into relief plates. The foot prints are mine and these, too, have been scanned, reduced and made into plates.
Decisions about colour and design were made as I went along – not always a recommended way of working. A sequence for the poems had been planned but this did not survive the test of time and it wasn’t until all the printing was complete that the final order was decided upon.
This book won the Toby English Prize, for the most original book, and also was chosen for one of the Judges Choice Awards at the Oxford Fine Press Book Fair, November 2015.
copyright © Paul L. Kershaw 2020