In the first installment on my visit to Peter Koch Printers, I introduced you to two books soon to be released by Mr. Koch. In the second installment, we took a look at his recently released The Lost Journals of Sacajewea. In this final installment, we look at some of his other works that I had a chance to spend some time with.
Mr. Koch’s books vary immensely in design, with superb quality and a bit of daring being the common thread. As mentioned in the first installment, Koch chooses to publish works that move him. His passion for the content of these works can be seen in the craftsmanship and design that he packages the content within. I personally love that he tackled early Greek works, such as Herakleitos and Parmenides shown below. Those with interest in this era should jump on getting a hold of these. Also, Watermark is particularly well done and should be sought after simply due to the beauty of the production as well as the writing itself by 1987 Nobel Laureate Joseph Brodsky (not to mention the fantastic photo-gravures).
Below is a number of his works, with colophon information taken from Koch’s website, and pictures from my visit.
Watermark, Joseph Brodsky, 2006
- Watermark is a series of lyrical meditations woven from the fabric of Venice in the late 20th century … meditations on time & beauty … a looking glass romance of a Russian poet-in-exile with a city that beguiles his eye. Brodsky dedicated Watermark to his friend the American painter, Robert Morgan who has lived in Venice for more than 30 years and the book is illustrated with 14 photo-gravures made from his original photographs.
- The paper is Twinrocker “Da Vinci” handmade, with our own watermark designed by Christopher Stinehour and Susan Filter
- Robert Morgan’s photographs were digitally re-configured by Donald Farnsworth and printed at his Magnolia Editions in Oakland, California from photogravure plates made by Unai San Martin
- The printed sheets were shipped to Venice, Italy, where we printed the text in Monotype Dante types cast in lead at the Olivieri Typefoundry in Milano
- Once the printing at the Scuola Grafica was completed, the sheets were shipped to our studio in Berkeley where the book was bound in richly pigmented papers made by hand at Cave Papers in Minneapolis, MN.
- The edition is limited to fifty copies; Copies numbered 1 to 30 are bound Venetian-red hand made papers and housed in a hand painted wooden enclosure; Copies numbered I to V designate the deluxe edition bound in full vellum, housed in a unique box with a brass plate imbedded on the surface, includes a suite of all 14 photo-gravures signed by the artist; Fifteen copies are designated h/c (hors commerce).
- 80 pp. 11 x 16.5 inches
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The Fragments of Parmenides, translated by Robert Bringhurst, 2004
- The text is comprised of all twenty Greek fragments, varying in length from a only few words to 66 hexameters, of a poem composed by Parmenides almost 2,500 years ago in southern Italy.
- For this project, Peter Koch commissioned Dan Carr to create a new typeface that balanced the lyricism and movement of the handwritten poem and the formality of a carefully-made inscription. Parmenides Greek, the foundry face designed, cut, and cast by Carr at the Golgonooza Letter Foundry, is accompanied by Diogenes Greek, a digital face designed by Christopher Stinehour.
- Printed in Greek on the left with the translation by Bringhurst on the facing page. Greek text handset in Parmenides Greek at the press by Richard Seibert, Robert Bringhurst, and Peter Koch; English text set in Monotype Dante at the Golgonooza Letter Foundry; cover text, printed in red and black, set in Diogenes Greek.
- 5 wood engravings that boldly accent the text are hand-printed by Wagener in vibrant red, fiery orange and velvety black on Zerkall mill paper.
- 120 numbered copies, bound by Peggy Gotthold at Foolscap Press in quarter leather and Hahnemühle Bugra paper, are enclosed in a case covered in gold Japanese silk.
- 26 lettered copies, bound in full leather by Daniel Kelm and enclosed in a drop-back box, are accompanied by a suite of 10 wood engravings signed by Richard Wagener and a broadside specimen sheet for each of the typefaces made for this edition.
- Afterword by Bringhurst set in special digital Dante, New Hellenic Greek, and Lazurski Cyrillic, and printed from polymer plates.
- Signed by Koch, Wagener, and Bringhurst.
- 64 pp. 9.75 x 16.25 inches 146 copies.
Herakleitos, translated by Guy Davenport, 1990
- The entire surviving fragments of Herakleitos printed in a bilingual edition
- Designed and printed letterpress by Peter Koch with Greek and English texts on facing pages
- Greek text hand-set by Mark Livingston in Monotype Gill Sans; Latin fragments and English text composed in Bembo Roman and Fairbanks Italic
- Cover paper hand-painted in a rich brown by Shelley Hoyt-Koch and features a printed label
- Visible stab-sewn binding based on a third-century A.D. Coptic sewing structure designed and executed by Hoyt-Koch
- 100 copies printed on Zerkall-Nideggen paper and 13 copies printed on Serpa handmade paper with a handmade paper wrap-around case
- 33 unbound copies were discovered 15 years later and bound in paper over boards by Jane Kim
- The first fragment of Herakleitos is composed in Kabel Greek type and printed on the cover in two colors
- English translation of the fragments of Herakleitos reprinted with minor variations from Grey Fox Books
- Signed by the translator
- 48 pp. 6.25 x 12 inches
The Old and Their Knowing, Robert Bringhurst, 2005
- A sequence of 12 poems and translations based on Presocratic sources
- Designed and printed letterpress from photo-polymer plates by Peter Koch
- The English text is set in Giovanni Mardersteig’s Dante type, designed in Verona and cut by Charles Malin in Paris in 1954
- The Greek source texts, printed on facing pages, are set in Christopher Stinehour’s Diogenes Greek, designed in Berkeley in 1996
- 200 numbered copies have been printed on Hahnemühle Biblio paper, Smythe-sewn, and enclosed in letterpress printed wrappers with cover designs by Winifred McNeill, signed by the author
- 26 lettered copies have been printed on Serpa handmade paper, with a typographic cover designed by Bringhurst and printed on Magnolia handmade paper; Hand-bound at the press by Jonathan Gerken. Signed by the author and slipcased
- 48 pp. 5.75 x 10 inches
Diogenes : Defictions, Thomas McEvilley, 1994
- This “text transmission object” is a collaborative sculpture designed as a “forgery” of a hypothetical object discovered by archeologists in the dump of ancient Corinth
- Mixed media, ceramic and lead multiple
- Designed by Peter Koch and hand-lettered by Christopher Stinehour
- Printed letterpress from zinc engravings onto soft lead plates by Koch
- Housed loose in a glazed ceramic box created by the sculptor Stephen Braun, each box unique in color and shape
- Contains a selection of twenty-one selected short, philosophical performance pieces by Thomas McEvilley composed from the lore surrounding Diogenes of Sinope
- As the plates are loose and unpaginated, they can be read in a random order
- 11 pp. 5 x 7 inches edition of 50.
Sketches Begun in My Studio on a Sunday Afternoon…, Rick Newby, 2008
- Designed and printed by Peter Rutledge Koch with the assistance of Jonathan Gerken
- One hundred signed and numbered copies were printed on Hahnemulhe Biblio and twenty-six specially bound copies, signed and lettered A to Z were printed on vintage Robert Serpa handmade paper
- The typeface is a hand-tooled digital version of Dante, designed in Verona by Giovanni Mardersteig and cut in steel by Charles Malin
- Copies A–Z were hand-bound at the press by Jonathan Gerken.
- Cover wood engraving by Richard Wagener from a 1997 photograph by Fletcher E. Newby
- 52 pp. 5.75 x 10 inches