The Palm Tree Story took two years to complete. I start book projects by deciding the final bound size of the books, then I create drawings to work out the page composition with text. I often cut up my drawings and prints to help me decide the best visual result and the printing process produces unique surprises along the way.
I used linoleum to carve additional graphics. I printed them, scanned them into the computer and combined them with the text. The digital file was printed as a film negative, used to expose light to a photopolymer plate (a photosensitive plastic plate.) The resultant image stands in relief and can be inked just like the linoleum.
There were 12 wood engravings, 13 linocuts and 18 photopolymer plates created for the pamphlet edition. There are 9 sheets for each book, including the cover. Each sheet has two pages. I printed 130 of each sheet to make sure I had 95 good prints. The black and grey plates and the wood engravings were printed in separate runs. So, for example: “The wind that blows” page went through the press 3 separate times. For this one page I placed the paper, inked the block/plate and set it in the drying rack to dry 390 times. Each book was printed 30 separate times. For the entire pamphlet book, I printed 3,900 times. I was able to use the Minnesota Center for Book Arts’ #219 Vandercook printing press allowing me to print about 80 sheets per hour instead of 35 sheets per hour in my home studio.
The portfolio edition includes the use of 12 wood engravings, 7 linocut images, 6 photopolymer plates, one unique cast die to stamp the accordion book covers and one woodcut for the end sheets.
The Palm Tree Story project was completed November 12, 2010. With all the printing done, I bind and make portfolio boxes as needed, so the binding process is spread out over time. One deluxe edition, portfolio box takes me about 3 days to complete with drying time.