When I was a graduate student, I had the opportunity to study with Phil Hamilton. Phil was a graphics man who happened to love letterpress printing. His studio classroom was chock full of type cases, pica sticks, inks and Vandercook letterpress printing presses. I can still recall the smells and sounds of that room. There was no better place on campus to hang out.
The coolest part of it all was watching books being born. My classmates and I spent countless hours conceiving and designing books and then setting type, one letter at a time. The sections of type were locked onto the beds of presses, then printed one page at a (very slow and methodical) time.
My love for beautiful books has not died. I love the feel of a nice paper, the sound of a page turning, the way an image “sits” in its place, the creative arrangement of type and the eloquent conversation that takes place between all these elements.
My press name back in the 70’s was “Yellow Bird.” I continued with the moniker when I self-published Convergence in 2001. On the heels of that was Among the Ashes.
Yellow Bird Press is proud to announce that a new book is on the horizon! It is unnamed at this point, but the work to birth it has begun. It will include photographs and essays about the children in Uganda. Its due date is early June. The book is being underwritten by a very generous donor; all proceeds from sales will go to Change the Truth.
Since it will be a small run with several people carefully collaborating, it still feels kind of like a handmade book to me. I certainly will not be setting one letter at a time, but I believe I will be putting it together with the same amount of attention to detail and deep appreciation for the beauty of a well deigned and well printed photography book that I learned back in Phil Hamilton’s classroom.