Monday, September 19, 2005

Palimpsest’s First Letterpress Chapbook

In Marty Gervais’ Taking My Blood: Poems and Photographs from Seven North, I wanted to combine both his photography and poetry. The chapbook contains a pictorial foldout section and an original tipped in photograph at the back of the book. There are also two transparencies with photographs on them, meant to give the tactile and visual experience of X-Ray film. The bright red endpaper has a mottled texture that resembles the appearance of a blood smear on a microscope slide.

For my first attempt at letterpress, I kept it simple. With help from my friend, Dan Wells, we put his very large and very heavy letterpress in motion. The result was titled cover labels that mimic the shape of labels one would find on a medical chart. I chose a bright red ink to match the endpaper.

For the collectors’ edition, I took the theme as far as it could go, using a modified piano hinge as a way of enclosing a syringe in the spine of the book. Small circle cutouts on the cover represent blood droplets. A very literal interpretation of the title — like a mini medical kit!