WITH THE POETS. Eight books have taken shape since Frayère
(Spawning Pool), my first book published in 1976. Each author in
his own way evokes the lines of the inner landscape that I draw.
They agree to work, as it were, under the visual dictate of my prints.
Here is how the poet Douglas Jones, the author of A Thousand
Hooded Eyes, speaks of his experience:
Personally, I never expected to find myself in a livre dartiste
any more than in a movie. Indeed, having accepted to participate
in Lamberts project for a book on more or less scaly creatures,
I was struck by the fact that such a production is not unlike
making a film. Lucie Lambert is producer, director, actorproducing
the concept, the engravings, the model for the silver medallion;
the writer produced the text; others produce the paper, the Elsteds
the typographical design and the printed sheets; Harry Sarber
the cast silver medallion, Pierre Ouvrard the binding. It involves
a coordinated effort by people in Vancouver and in North Hatley,
Quebec, in Mission, B.C. and Ile-aux-Noix, Quebec. The binding
was delayed when Ouvrard had to order more frogskin from Belgium.
WITH ARTISANS. Once the image and the text are brought together,
I must turn to the book artisans: the typographer and the printer.
Masters of their craft, they are a fount of invaluable and increasingly
rare knowledge and know-how. Handpress, metal type, hand composition,
Our age of technological revolution has more or less
eliminated from industrial production all the crafts traditionally
associated with the art of fine books.
Fine books have literary value, and they have commercial value,
but it is their value as works of art which distinguishes them
from other books. This intangible, æsthetic quality is not
easily obtained. The designers use of binding materials,
of type, of paper and of inks all contribute to a feeling of luxuriousness
and of fineness. There is another element, personality, without
which a book is lost. It results from the designer imparting something
of himselfhis love for fine books, his consequent sincerity
of purpose, his grasp of the elementals of the printing craftinto
his books. (From the Printers Note by Robert Reid in The
Fraser Mines Vindicated.)