A Thousand Scribbles Later


Before my dear friend Carl Bilderback passed away, he had one suggestion as to how I should change my life: Sign my name more neatly.

Today I was so glad I rejected that advice.

I drove to our Indianapolis warehouse in the morning and spent the day unpacking 1,000 books, examining them for damage, signing them in red ink and repacking them. If I had taken Carl’s advice, I’d still be at the warehouse making beautiful “S” shapes.


As we examined every book, here are two things we noticed:

  1. The pages appear to be stuck together on some volumes. This is a result of painting the edges black. The black paint protects the pages from moisture and dirt. But the pages also need to be separated before you read the book. Simply fan the pages and they will separate without tearing.
  2. The smooth cover appears a bit burnished in places in raking light. This is also a result of the manufacturing process. We used a smooth cloth for this cover. When the cloth is glued to the boards of the book it can look a little burnished in some light. It’s not noticeable except in some light and after someone points it out to you.

I finished up signing the books late Monday afternoon. Our warehouse guy said they expect to have all the books in the mail by the end of the week – Monday at the latest.

— Christopher Schwarz

About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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10 Responses to A Thousand Scribbles Later

  1. The fact that you would go to all this trouble belies a great reverence for the work and the importance of the content. And, as someone used to buying liturgical books printed in like manner, these are all common traits. A hymnal for a new age of creativity. I’ll sing along.

  2. aerrowdesign says:

    I have this book on order and live in Indianapolis. It’s tempting to just drive over but I’ll do my best to be patient for the mail.

  3. Alex A. says:

    I always wondered why my dad’s signature was an almost unreadable version of his initials until I became an adult and started filling out government paperwork. My neat, readable name slowly devolved into a squiggly, shorted version of my name. He was an officer in the Navy in the 70’s and 80’s so he was signing hundreds of documents a week so it made things easier.

  4. Stefan Rusek says:

    Now I’m even more excited! Few feelings are more pleasant than fanning the edges of a edged book for the first time.

  5. karlfife says:

    Am I correct in assuming all 1000 are spoken for?

  6. Just got my copy today and it’s gorgeous. My third Lost Art Press book and the nicest one yet. Kudos to author, engraver, photographer, and printer.

  7. jmwagle86 says:

    Got my copy today. Thank you and congratulations on another fine book.

  8. tombuhl says:

    The book arrived today in perfect condition. I carefully opened the cardboard box, then as I was gently unwrapping the paper, I thought “this is just like opening a valuable signed first edition.” Hey, that is exactly what it is. Cool. I used to play baseball with a group of rare book dealers and loved their stories of found treasures, and just missing out on same. One of them showed me in his possession (as executor of the literary portion of the Steinbeck estate) original galley proofs of Grapes of Wrath with extensive notations by John Steinbeck. Header at the top of the galleys was “Gropes of Wrath.” Mistake or fun times in the type shop? Passions, that is the good stuff of life.
    Thank you and the team for being passionate in your endeavors.

  9. It arrived today and it is a beauty! Even my wife was impressed… “Wow! That is the Anarchist’s Design Book?!”

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