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Posts Tagged ‘crooked letter press’

  1. Book Artist of the Month: Ellen Knudson

    July 29, 2013 by Erin Fletcher


    Subject/Verb/Object grew from frustration and anger towards art criticism and other academic writings, which largely incorporates language to control its audience and exclude outsiders. In 2012, Ellen Knudson of Crooked Letter Press created this word game, with no beginning, no end and no way to win. The turning, fitting and order of words can cause clarification or confusion. Using simplistic language forces the reader to attempt a visual organization of the things we cannot put in order: our desires. 



    The volvelle is made of three layers bound with a metal brad and measures at 12″ in diameter. The book was letterpress printed in an edition of 85 on a Vandercook Universal I from a combination of handset metal type and photopolymer plates. Murillo paper was used to created the volvelle, interior sleeve and belly band which is held together with a set of metal grommets; the exterior sleeve is covered in Iris coffee bookcloth. 

    This artist book can be purchased from 23 Sandy Gallery

  2. Book Artist of the Month: Ellen Knudson

    July 15, 2013 by Erin Fletcher


    Photo by Jerry Mathiason

    Over the course of graduate school, Ellen Knudson, would travel the road between Starkville, Mississippi and Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Self-Dual (How to Walk a 30,000 Mile Tightrope) is a collection of visual and textual vignettes in reflection of those trips; little pieces of the scenery and her thoughts during those drives. 

    The paper used in the book is 100% cotton rag, handmade from Ellen’s family’s clothing. The six large illustrations are linoleum reduction prints, the other illustrations are line art drawings printed from photopolymer plates. The type is handset in multiple sizes of Lutetia metal type, cast by Harold Berliner. The book is bound as a built-in groove case in the dos-a-dos style binding with two illustrated fold-outs. This book was bound in an edition of 50. 


    Photo by Jerry Mathiason


    Photo by Jerry Mathiason

    The deluxe edition is a handmade portfolio that houses the six large linoleum prints. This edition was produced in a quantity of 15. Self-Dual was made during 2005-06.


    Photo by Jerry Mathiason

  3. Book Artist of the Month: Ellen Knudson

    July 8, 2013 by Erin Fletcher


    In 2004, Ellen Knudson printed and bound How to Love Someone Forever in an edition of 50 books and 50 broadsides. This collection of poems are written by Kevin Knudson (Ellen’s husband) and herself for one another and for their son. As Ellen explains it: We are always working on how to love each other, Kevin, Gus, and I, so this is a hint of the grand gooey mess that is us.

    howtolove1-ellenknudson howtolove4-ellenknudson

    Illustrations throughout the book are done by Ellen to represent weeds as a reflection of the tangle of relationships, lovely and difficult as they are. The illustrations are line drawings and letterpress printed from photopolymer plates. The book is about the every day of relationships and finding beauty in them when they can be taken for granted and so easily go unnoticed, much like weeds.

    The poems were handset and printed in Gould Old Style 394 and Caslon metal type. Pages were letterpress printed on dampened Hahnemuhle Bugra paper in mint and marble gray. The book is double-pamphlet sewn and bound as a built-in groove case binding. The paste paper covers are handmade on mint Bugra. All printing was done by Ellen at her studio, Crooked Letter Press, in Starkville, Mississippi on the (as Ellen puts it) badass Vandercook Universal 1 proofing press. 


    The poem Valentine Sestina written by Kevin is printed on the only fold-out found in the book and  is also available as a separate broadside. The poem is a sestina, which is a 39-line poem consisting of six stanzas of six lines each followed by a three lined stanza.

  4. July // Book Artist of the Month: Ellen Knudson

    July 2, 2013 by Erin Fletcher


    American Breeding Standards is the most recent work from Crooked Letter Press run by book artist and graphic designer Ellen Knudson and was produced in an edition of 60 in 2012-2013 in Gainesville, Florida. This artist book explores the systemized rules about what comprises a good or bad horse, a good or bad woman — and the steps one might take to achieve the breed standard.

    American Breeding Standards was designed and letterpress printed on Zerkall Book paper. The illustrations and text are printed from photo-polymer plates and handset metal types. Some text excerpted from American Horses and Horse Breeding (John Dimon, 1895) and Canine Breeding Standards of the German Shepherd (American Kennel Club, 2012), while the rest of the text and illustration are by Ellen.

    The binding structure is an exposed spine sewn on Cave Paper tapes and attached to paste paper covered boards. The cover of the book has a hinged pop-up that folds out. There are also 3 additional foldout pages throughout the book.

    americanbreedingstandards2-ellenknudsonamericanbreedingstandards5-ellenknudson americanbreedingstandards3-ellenknudson americanbreedingstandards6-ellenknudsonamericanbreedingstandards4-ellenknudson

    While setting up the Marking Time exhibition for the Guild of Book Workers at Dartmouth College, I came across Ellen’s piece Self-Dual (How to Walk a 30,000 Mile Tightrope). By the way, I’ll be featuring this book in a post later this month. The prints featured in this artist book are beautifully illustrated and printed in rich and muted earth tones. The book was favorably executed as the dos-a-dos style binding. 

    I’m excited to present this interview with Ellen and to post a portion of her work throughout the month of July. Ellen has such a versatile design sense, offering a range of artist books so throughly executed. Read the interview after the jump and come back each Monday in the month of July for more posts on Ellen Knudson.

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  • My name is Erin Fletcher, owner and bookbinder of Herringbone Bindery in Boston. Flash of the Hand is a space where I share my process and inspirations.
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