up in ‘the battery’…

… the floor is littered with drying book-plates for Marly Youman’s Thaliad, awaiting only a trimming. (The air at Ty Isaf is ripe with the smell of oil-based printing-ink and white spirit.) These were promised over at Phoenicia Publishing to the first fifty purchasers of the book, and I regret to report that I’ve been unforgivably tardy over getting the job done. Still, they’ll be off next week. I’ll send all the ones for recipients in the US to Marly or Beth for re-posting, but shall forward the UK bookplates directly. Apologies to everyone for my slowness with this. I’ve been away in the Land of the Mari!

Above: trying out  a print made on coloured paper in another Marly Youmans book, The Foliate Head. The turquoise looks pleasingly jazzy against the red endpapers. I’ll cut a rubber-stamp for my name, as I think the chunkiness of the relief print needs bold lettering for ‘Hicks-Jenkins’ in the space at the bottom. And as I’ll be using this plate in many of my books, a stamp will move things along a bit.

13 thoughts on “up in ‘the battery’…

  1. These look beautiful, Clive. How are you printing them? I am imagining a lovely old printing press!
    love from Francesca x

    • Well the printing press is certainly old, though it can’t lay claim to being lovely. That is, the printing press is me!!! Just the back of a spoon and elbow-grease. I’d love a little table-top press, but as yet haven’t been able to find one. All my printing gets done by hand.

  2. Such a cheeky chappie this bird, trying to peck the letters! He’s fab. Have to tell you I get a small catalogue called Seasalt – a company based in Cornwall, they sell clothing. I’d looked through the clothing and didn’t order any but kept the catalogue because their colour swatch pages were terracottas and dark green sumptuously bumping against greys and petrol blues, all of which I love , and they put small sketches of the coastline in corners of the pages, making it more of an art book than just a catalogue…but… one of the dresses was called Thalia! A name I’d only ever come across here.

      • Our dining room table, a 2-pedestal monster in very bad shape, belonged to a Thalia, great aunt of an architect neighbor of ours in South Carolina. She was a THA-li-a (not a tha-LI-a), and that’s the pronunciation I used in the poem. One of the pedestals broke during a birthday party–many girls were leaning on one end–sending cake and presents sliding. The poor thing has been repaired several times but will no doubt go to the land of irretrievably broken furniture soon.

        • Oh, please don’t relegate the table to the Land-of-Irretrievably-Broken-Furniture. Repair is always the best option. Think of all those meals, all those family gatherings, all those Thalia-ish memories embedded in it. Our circular Georgian kitchen table has been both restored and repaired in recent years… don’t ask about the latter… and it gives me the greatest pleasure to use it every day. I know it can be difficult to find a restorer for an old piece of furniture, but I hate the idea of something that might yet give another lifetime of use, being discarded for the sake of some TLC.

    • Ah, does the photograph bring back memories of your time with us in 2011?

      Yes, I’m still in ‘The Battery’ and still sharing it with visitors from the Pipistrelle colony that lives under the roof just above my head. They like to come and see what I’m up to from time to time!

      • I liked those rooms, though I know you want to redo the others… There’s something marvelous about winding up that narrow staircase, out of the perfected floors of rooms below and into the world of messy creation–and so apt that it is above what is already complete.

  3. The book plates look great – fingers crossed I was in the first 50! it’s a wonderful book; most of my books are in Germany but a select few make it to my London pad, of which Thaliad is one.

    Always good to get a peek into your battery as well Clive, the magical laboratory where it all happens 🙂

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