Printing “The Amichai Windows”

Printing Amichai Windows

Watching one of the digital prints emerge from my Epson printer. Photo by Mellie Black

I have made the first handful of digital prints of The Amichai Windows. It’s quite exciting — it has only taken eight years or more to get to this point.

As I move along, I am finalizing design elements, adjusting image placements and colors.

The good news is that I found a place nearby, CSI, which prints exhibitions for the museums in Washington, D.C., that is helping me cut down the paper. The Japanese washi paper that I’ll be using for the poems comes in large sheets that are about 23 x 33 inches.

I need to cut them down initially to 11.5 x 23 inches to make my prints. Then, I’ll run those through my Epson 2400 photo stylus digital printer, take the printed sheets to Pyramid Atlantic to letterpress the poems and then cut the sheets down to the final trim size of 11 x 19 inches.

Recently, my daughter, Melanie, and I lugged big reams of paper into the car and drove over to CSI. They have an amazing mechanical guillotine paper cutter. Kevin, a sales rep who has been just terrific, and Vlad, helped us to load about 200 sheets at a time onto the cutter. In one swoop, they were trimmed perfectly.

We did this in a few batches, then reloaded the car and headed home. It must have saved me hours and hours of trimming two or three sheets at a time on my guillotine paper cutter at home. Once back, I stored the paper in a bin in my basement studio until I recently needed them. One by one I feed them into my digital printer. It gets tricky sometimes but overall the printer has been great.

I know that I have not shared the actual designs of The Amichai Windows with you. I am still trying to figure out the best way to do that. There are a number of reasons for this . . . first, I can not post the original Hebrew poems on the web. The rights holder, Schocken Publishing of Tel Aviv, doesn’t allow it.

So, then the question becomes: do I make PDFs with only the English? That would look odd. Or share the spreads without the poems? That would look even stranger. I also worry about sharing my designs on the web. Eventually, I will post a few of them.

For now, though, I am writing posts with snippets of my English translations with some of the images in the book. You can take a look at my recent post, Amichai and Archeology to see what I mean. I hope it will at least give you a taste of The Amichai Windows.

Well, only 540 prints to make . . . !

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