Phew, what a weekend! For those of you in the northern Berkshire Massachusetts area you know that MASS MoCA hosted the Solid Sound Festival this weekend. What fun! I went Friday night and soaked up the groovy festival vibe, but mostly I womaned the Vandercook at PRESS. PRESS moved from 105 to 49 Main two and a half weeks ago. So it’s been a push to get unpacked and our first exhibit up in time for the June 20th opening of DownStreet Art and the Solid Sound weekend. We were open Friday and Saturday from 9 am – 1 am. And Sunday from 9 am – 6 pm. I was there all three days from 9 am – 6ish pm, operating the Vandercook, talking with the hundreds of people that walked through our doors and having a great time.
Last Solid Sound Festival PRESS had just opened and I made this:
I wanted to print some sort of small text on it, my text. But I couldn’t find anything in my writings or journals that worked. So I asked a few people who came into the shop for ideas and went home Sunday night with summer, super moon, solstice and solid sound. I love alliterations. When generating text, I like to start with some key words, stream-of-conscious write for three minutes, then get to the hard work of honing it into something concrete.
I played around and got to a haiku structure that was okay–maybe a little forced, with a couple of very self-conscious words and I felt like it told more than it showed. I should know by now that if send a text to my fab artist friend Tara to ask her if something is forced, it’s forced!
The languid moon rise soft, light– quiet caresses flowing through the soul
But I set it Sunday morning anyways in one of my found serif faces, and then Doug arrived. He agreed that it told more than it showed and that languid was way too forced. So he helped me get to this:
molasses moon rise
slowly flowing, surrounding
sweetens the soul
While I thought this was better, it felt too much like him, not enough of me, and it still wasn’t right. But molasses moon rise totally got at the what I wanted to express.
Enter the copy editor angel. I have no idea who this man was, but he came right up to me at the Vandercook, asked me what I was doing and was like, okay let’s get this into shape. He agreed that molasses moon rise was great, but then was like slowly, come on that’s an adverb, you never use adverbs they tell, they don’t show, (which I know, and was one of the reasons why I knew this needed to change.) So then he was like:
Pretend you’re Neil Young, just for a minute. If you were Neil Young you would start with molasses moon rise, then you bring it back to yourself, express what it is for you that the line means. And then he was like come on, the moon, what does it mean for you, how does it make you feel, so he’s throwing things out, I’m throwing things out and he’s like write it down, write it down!
Words were flying! I had to work to keep up with his New York pace. But I wrote it down and after a few minutes I got it to where it’s mine and I love it and I’m delighted beyond belief. I don’t know who he was, he just wanted to be known as my copy editor angel. Thank you CEA! The final haiku:
molasses moon rise enveloping, caressing– pulling my soul in
Then the fun, the printing! Here is one of the four final pieces. Each is slightly different, as they are handpainted papers, but all with the same sense of the circle rising across this four page accordion structure.
This week I will make covers and special cases for them. What a great small edition of four books.
The shop will be closed January-March 2023! Look for me again in April. Happy New Year! Dismiss