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Lac Des Pleurs
Report from Lake Pepin

  • <em>Lac Des Pleurs</em> spread
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The type printed on these pages was originally cast in Monotype for previous Midnight Paper Sales books, then redistributed into the case, and hand set here by Jean Louise Egger, Wyatt Sandberg, and Gaylord Schanilec. With much of the text set in Bembo, the diminished supply of type prompted setting Lesueur's paper in Poliphilus, a move that made the printer nervous until it came to light that both faces were based on the printing of Aldus Manutius. 

Read on...

Schanilec and Lac Des Pleurs featured in The New York Times 2/8 - “Grain by Wood Grain, a Movable Feast- Artists Find an Audience for Painstaking Letterpress Printing” by Michael Hoinski

The text—commentary on passage through the lake by Louis Hennepin, George Featherstonhaugh, Henry Schoolcraft, George Catlin, Jonathan Carver, Zebulon Montgomery Pike, Charles Latrobe, Henry David Thoreau, and Oliver Gibbs Jr., with related excerpts from Harriet Bell Carlander, Geroge Wagner, Robert E. Coker, C. A. Lesueur, Thaddeus Surber, Paul Harder, and Mark Twain. Read on...

Mussels block on padSee the Lac Des Pleurs blog for illustrated detailed documentation of the process of making the book (a seven-year odyssey).

  • <em>Lac Des Pleurs:</em> Report From Lake Pepin
  • Lac Des Pleurs: Report From Lake Pepin
    Lac Des Pleurs - Limited edition of 100, bound in quarter leather over marbled paper-covered boards; large folding wood-engraved map and 8 multi-color wood engravings on 7 sheets (5 folding, depicting pelicans, fish, and river scenes) inserted; 31 other zinc engravings of fish in the text; introduction by Patrick Coleman; title page and box label printed from specially made wood type based on tracings by Russell Maret from Aldus Manutius's Hypnerotomachia Poliphili; the binding is by Craig Jensen, Book Lab II, using hand-made marbled paper by Jemma Lewis based on photographs of wet stones along the shores of Lake Pepin. 100 numbered copies, 10 x 15 inches. 76 pages. $7,800.
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  • Detail from Pool Four, Lake Pepin

  • map detail


Individual signed and numbered prints from Lac Des Pleurs

Morone chrysops (White Bass), Editioned print from Lac Des Pleurs
Image dimensions: 7.5 x 14" | Edition size: 200. $500.

Pool Four, Lake Pepin, Editioned print from Lac Des Pleurs Image dimensions: 32 x 24 ". Wood engraving and letterpress type. Edition size: 200. Price: $750.

The Hungry Mind, Editioned print from Lac Des Pleurs
Image dimensions: 4.5 x 5 " | Edition size: 190. Price: $160.

Moxostoma-macrolepidotum (Shorthead Redhorse), Editioned print from Lac Des Pleurs
Image dimensions: 10 x 16.5 " | Edition size: 198, Price: $400.

Pelecanus erythrorhynchos, Editioned print from Lac Des Pleurs
Image dimensions: 10 x 17" | Edition size: 250, Price: $1,200.

a dead drum, Editioned print from Lac Des Pleurs
Image dimensions: 10 x 17" | Edition size: 40, Price: $500.

Unionidae: Upstream, Editioned print from Lac Des Pleurs
Image dimensions: 7 x 10 inches.
Edition size: 204, Price: $375.

Unionidae: Downstream, Editioned print from Lac Des Pleurs
Image dimensions: 16 x 10 inches.
Edition size: 90, Price: $500.

Pyganodon grandis, Editioned print from Lac Des Pleurs
Image dimensions: 5 x 8" | Edition size: 100, Price: $275.

Gull & Buoy, Editioned print from Lac Des Pleurs
Image dimensions: 5 x 5" | Edition size: 75, Price: $250.

Rulon's Moon, Image dimensions: 12.5 x 5" | Edition size: 120, Price: $120.

WHY DO FISH JUMP? , Editioned print from Report from Pool Four, Gaylord Schanilec
Midnight Paper Sales, Image dimensions: 3 x 1 3/4" | Edition size: 65. Price: $80.

Introduction by Patrick K. Coleman; and image captions & an epilogue by Gaylord Schanilec—has been hand set in metal type, and printed by hand on vintage Barcham Greene and Wookey Hole papers.

The images—specimen prints engraved by Gaylord Schanilec including the American White Pelican, Shorthead Redhorse, White Bass, Sheepshead, Lake Pepin Mucket, Threehorn Wartyback, and Giant Floater, along with two vignettes—were all printed on Zerkall paper. Plus a foldout map of the lake, engraved by Mr. Schanilec, was printed on handmade kozo paper, and thirty “text figures” of fish were printed from the original electrotypes used in the 1920 publication Fishes and Fish-Like Vertebrates of Minnesota, by Thaddeus Surber. More info & purchase


Photographs were taken of pages from Columbia University’s copy of the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, printed by Manutius in 1499. Tracings from the photographs were drawn by Russell Maret, and the tracings were turned into wood type at the Hamilton Wood Type Museum. The wood type was inked and impressed "LAC DES PLEURS" on the title page. 

The edition was bound and boxed by Craig Jensen and his daughter, Leigh Ann Jensen, at BookLab II in San Marcos, Texas. The binding is a quarter leather, flatback, lap-case structure with an over-the-shoulder hollow to ensure very flat page openings. The box is a quarter leather, double tray, drop-spine design. The cover paper was marbled by Jemma Lewis, whose bespoke design is based on a photograph of wet stones taken along the shore of Lake Pepin. The map was printed on Kiraku Kozo handmade paper, the images on Zerkall mouldmade, and the text on handmade Barcham Green Tovil and a mouldmade paper from the Wookey Hole mill. The epilogue paper and end sheets were handmade for the edition at the Saint Armand mill. 

All of the images were printed from end grain maple blocks manufactured at Midnight Paper Sales, with the exception of the key block for Pelicanus erythrorhynchos, for which an extra piece of Corian countertop material, left over from making the compartment covers for the boat, was used.

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