Part of the joy of all this is seeing it in production.
This is the largest run of books I’ve made so far: 800 will eventually be here. A minuscule run by most standards, but they will likely last me years before I run out. I still have 30 copies of Zōsan left, even after 5 years. I don’t know if I’ll be able to print this way again — Charles and his diligent offset press are sort of a lost art. Though I’ve read some opinions to the contrary, it’s frankly not the most efficient way to run a print business, so I definitely understand why a printer would want to avoid this kind of work.
The Artists’ Way
But I think the artists I work with are doing this for the same reason I am: for the art of it. Clare has her own shop of lovely linocut prints and textiles. Wendy is an avid art book maker. Charles is an anarchist free spirit apparently with a soft spot for children’s books 🙂
It’s business to an end—yes, of course we must keep the lights on and the stomachs fed—but in the end it’s the art that feeds us and keeps our minds alight. We can’t really have one without the other, but we don’t have to relentlessly pursue this as a business to be happy.
I told Charles in 2018 after we finished Tamaishi I wasn’t really sure if I had another book in me. It turned out I did. I’m thinking that now, as this production come to a slowly comes to a close. If Charles is still at it when the muse knocks on my door again, I’ll be knocking on his.