2023 Italy Boxed Sets

17×22” piezography prints initially made from a 2000 trip to Italy left me feeling they could be “more”, over the years. They are nice, I showed them, sold a few, and over time interest faded in the fog of ongoing newer work. Small old world architectural etchings in an Italian deli brought them back to mind, illustrating that these don’t need size and could have a spirit more suited to the work. Coincidentally I found a beautiful small sheet handmade Japanese paper from Hiromi and started working with how it took ink. This work looked wonderful on it.

printing and printing

The result is four boxed sets of sixteen selected from the initial larger group of twenty-six. I’m concentrating here on the steps taken to make the custom boxed sets and the decisions along the way, hoping this may be helpful. Custom case production and the Letterpress printing have to be subbed out, before getting too carried away I contacted Ed Marquand at Paper Hammer and Daymoon Press to secure their services and get input before making too many decisions. The print size predetermined by my paper choice, sixteen work/reject prints on the paper went to Ed so they could determine case size, that in turn allowed label, title page, and colophon design.

Simple for a custom portfolio, a clamshell box. Additional elements are title sheet, print interleaves, and a colophon. Required decisions for design and practicality are- case cover cloth, case lining material, label material, letterpress paper and interleave material, font choice and text design. Paper Hammer, being a custom box maker and more, had beautiful materials on hand, sent me samples and swatches of many options, I also ordered samples from a few other suppliers.

selecting from samples for case cover cloth, lining material, letterpress stock

I chose the actual photo print paper for the label which Day Moon Press trimmed to size and completed the printing as I watched, fascinated. They were sent to Ed, with my decisions for outer cloth which he stocked, and inner lining material I had ordered from Hiromi, box construction could begin. They trimmed out sheets from their stock of the letterpress paper I selected and sent to Day Moon Press, who had my final text/type design for printing. The interconnected tasks of all involved must be considered and planned, in the meantime at home I  completed the actual prints. Paper Hammer also cut a large supply of the chosen interleave to size, which I received from them with the completed cases over in beautiful Tieton WA..

Day Moon Press’s beautiful work

Final prints completed and inspected, each had to be signed, numbered, and negative number, dates, etc. put on the back. My increasing dysgraphia became immediately apparent. A high percentage are barely legible. That added to the imperfections of the handmade paper- I’ve chosen to call “charming”.

hand cramps

All that was left was to assemble all the completed parts into the four full boxed sets. The input and mastery of Tess at Daymoon Press, Ed Marquand and Maria Solorio at Paper Hammer Studios contributed mightily to this project. Input from Monika Chwojko, Lauren Henkin, and Jeff Corwin was also essential.

showing off Paper Hammer’s work

All of the materials and people involved are in the colophon, pasted below-

“Italy, selected photographs” contains 16 prints from images made in Italy, 2000. They were captured with a medium format camera on 120mm film. The photographs were printed in 2023 by Tyler on Fuji Shikishi White, Natural, a PH neutral handmade Japanese paper consisting of  Kozo, Mitsumata & SP pulp with no optical brighteners, using seven shades of custom carbon monochromatic pigment inks.

The case is by Ed Marquand and Maria Solorio at Paper Hammer Studios, Tieton, WA. It is covered with Iridescent Orange Japanese Ginga Bookcloth; lining paper is Amate Solid Natural, made in Mexico using the bark from the Jonote tree.

The title page, and colophon were letterpress printed on Stonehenge White Cover, handset in Goudy Old Style, at Day Moon Press, Seattle WA.

Individual prints are protected by Neenah UV/Ultra interleaves. 

The four boxed sets were printed, crafted and completed in 2023.




Day Moon Press-

Paper Hammer-

Monika Chwojko- @vintage_vis, @visionofforest

Lauren Henkin-

Jeff Corwin-

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