Re-Creation of "La Prose du Transsibérien" by Two Hands Press Now Complete

Screen Shot 2017-11-03 at 8.22.41 AM.pngKitty Maryatt, Director Emerita of the Scripps College Press, has re-created the Blaise Cendrars/Sonia Delaunay 1913 publication, La Prose du Transsibérien, at Two Hands Press. The new edition was printed by letterpress and has hand-painted pochoir. The edition is 150 copies, with 30 hors commerce. The publication date is January 1, 2018; the price for the book is $3500. Pre-publication sales are starting November 1 through December 30, 2017 with a discounted price of $2750. 

The type for the book was printed in June of 2017 by printer Richard Siebert in San Francisco. Two Hands Press licensed a high-resolution scan of La Prose from The Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco. Richard removed the surrounding pochoir colors from the Blaise Cendrars poem and then went through the whole text for weeks, cleaning up nearly every letter. Sixteen photo-polymer plates were needed to print the four 16 x 23 inch pages, with each one printed in four colors: orange, ruby red, green and blue. Each of the 1000 sheets was printed four times on his Heidelberg letterpress.

The gouache color for the Sonia Delaunay imagery is hand-applied using thin metal stencils (pochoir = stencil in French). There are about 25 aluminum stencils for each of the four sheets, or 100 in all. The 50 or so colors have been selected with great care to match the original books. Maryatt worked primarily with originals at the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Palace of the Legion of Honor, and viewed nine other originals in the US, France and England.

About 75% of the first copies were done in France where Kitty and her assistant Chris Yuengling-Niles spent almost two months working daily with Christine Menguy at Atelier Coloris, who fine-tuned their skills in the pochoir process.

The book is folded once down the center and 21 times across to result in a book that is 3.625 by 7.25 inches. On one side you see the Delaunay image and on facing side, the Cendrars poem with the enhancing pochoir surrounding the type. The book is held unattached in its vellum folder. A booklet will accompany La Prose with an English translation of the poem by Timothy Young and will have a description of the processes.

If you are interested in more details about the project, please go to laprosepochoir.blogspot.com. For a reservation form, send an email to twohandspress@gmail.com.

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