Sunday, January 22, 2017

Letterpress Commission

For the last little while I have been working on a beautiful letterpress commission - a poem in association with a new Poetry Prize.

The Poetry Prize is in honour of young Maleny poet Sophia Nugent-Siegal, who died in 2014 aged 22.

The work I have done is to select one of Sophie's many poems, and produce it in an edition of 22. The poem is presented on a thick 300gsm Gmund Cotton Linen paper, contained within a presentation folder.

Sophie had liked the spareness of my work and her mother entrusted me with the artistic license to create work that I felt was in keeping with Sophie's work and ethos.  I had previously rendered some poetry for her mother in calligraphy; and felt I wanted to include some in the final work; but was not sure that I could do it effectively 22 times.

So I turned to a photopolymer plate. I wrote out the poem title, vectorised it, sent it to Melbourne where they prepared the plate. I then found a local cabinet maker to cut some timber into a small block, type high and I was able to include it in the block for printing.

The presentation folder is made from Mohawk Superfine 270gsm and I used another photopolymer plate image on the cover - the poem references a blue sky smashed into novas.

The cover indicates the poem title, the poet's name and that it is part of deckled edge press editions (in fact the first).

I mixed the ink to a soft blue - the poem suggests Sophie's bluest of blue eyes - and the main text was printed in a soft grey - I couldn't do black. It meant I had to do two print runs on each page - the blue one and the grey one, so registration became a bit of a focus.

Cover detail.

Attribution detail on poem insert.

Poem within the folder.

The poem.

It has been an enormous honour to produce this work; as well as a great challenge to improve my craft  and to produce something of worth and value the will last through the ages.

More of the story can be found here, on the website and blog for Sophia.


  1. such beautiful elegance in all the details

    1. Thank you Mo, I did put a lot of thought into it...

  2. That you have approached this project with great care & sensitivity is evident with every detail...what a lovely way to celebrate & honor the young poet, and to somehow keep a part of her a little bit still in this world. It's very inspiring, if bittersweet, to see so many beautiful elements coming together here, from Sophia's words, to the colors, type, paper & presentation that you created for them.

    1. Thank you Lisa, it was a precious job and I tried to do it justice. It's a piece that feels right and one that I am proud of...

  3. So perfect as a remembrance. I love the artwork...very fitting too. Sensitivity to subject wonderful. well done. Cx

    1. Thanks C - it took a fair bit to work it all out; but it come together well I think. A gentle honouring and remembrance.

  4. Beautiful words in a beautiful presentation, deep in meaning. Lovely!


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