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Prototype Press ~ Maryland
(Mark Sarigianis)                                                                                       
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Prototype Press: "The Prototype Press is the new moniker for Sharp Teeth Press and is operated by Mark Sarigianis and David Johnston(1985-2015) in Oakland, California. The goal of the publishing program is to produce first-edition works by local authors and artists, completely in-house."
Sharp Teeth Press publications  

Consider the Oyster
By M.F.K. Fisher
with linoleum cuts by Martin Mazorra

[Indian Head, Maryland]: Prototype Press, 2021. Edition of 52.

11.5 x 9.5”; 84 pages plus freeend pages and pastedowns. Printed letterpress on custom paper from the Saint-Armand paper mill. 12pt Monotype Goudy Light typeface. Blue headline typeface handset Windsor Elongated in a variety of sizes. Blue illustrated endpapers Book and clam-shell book box covered in two additional papers from the mill. Quarterbound in white, foil stamped goat leather. A custom oyster shucking knife accompanies each book to assist with opening the book box. Cast, printed and bound by the press. Numbered.

Mark Sarigianis: "I first discovered M. F. K. Fisher’s ‘Consider the Oyster’ in 2018 while browsing the cookbook section of the Mills College library. It was a first edition, and given the reverence held for Fisher, especially in the bay area, it should have been in the special collections department. Even though it was written in 1941, I was immediately struck by the passionate ‘foodie’ sensibilities with which she waxed poetic about oysters. In fact, she made any modern writer of the subject seem incredibly boring. A serendipitous connection led me to be able to ask M. F. K. Fisher’s daughter, Kennedy Golden, directly for permission to print the work. Between then and now the press and all of its 50k pounds of equipment were moved to a new home in Southern Maryland. Following a year of construction, the new studio was powered up and production of ‘Consider the Oyster’ was on its way.

"Martin Mazorra is a Brooklyn based artist originally from West Virginia. He works chiefly in woodcut and letterpress, from small books, prints on paper, large prints on fabric, to site specific print-based installations. His work is in the collections of the Yale Beinecke Library, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Taubman Museum, the Block Museum, and the Fort Wayne Museum of Art.

“His anthropomorphic illustrations for ‘Consider the Oyster’ were drawn to capture the playful ways in which oysters in the book reveal the art of eating and the human experience, through humor and anecdotal ruminations."

Consider the Oyster book
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Text by Rudyard Kipling
Illustrations by Chuck Jones
Prototype Press: [Indian Head, Maryland], 2021. Edition of 28.

11 x 15”; pages. The typeface used for the text is handset Italian Old Style, designed by Frederic Goudy, which has a storybook quality suitable for Kipling. The gold-foiled typeface in various sizes is Libra, designed by Sjoerd Henrik de Roos, which was chosen to reference the use of an Uncial typeface in the movie. The pages were printed damp on custom handmade cotton paper from The Saint-Armand paper mill. It is half-bound in black goat leather. A copy of the 1975 animated film by Chuck Jones is included on a USB drive and is housed in the slipcase. Cast, printed & bound by the press. Numbered.

Mark Sarigianis: “My first introduction to Kipling’s ‘Rikki-tikki-tavi’ was through the Chuck Jones animated film. Although it was made before my time, a home-recorded VHS from a network rerun was in my childhood home. Even at an early age, I knew there was something serious and cared for in the art direction and style, especially when compared to the standard Saturday morning cartoons of the day. When my oldest child fell in love with the cartoon last year, printing an edition of the original story seemed like an easy choice for the press.

“It was not until reaching out to the Chuck Jones estate that the project took on an unusual direction for a fine press edition. The estate did a fantastic job archiving early sketches that Chuck made for the movie, and as I looked through them, I was drawn to a series focused specifically on the evolution of the titular character and his movements. This is the series that made it into the book, printed from photopolymer plates made from high resolution scans of the sketches. The artwork focuses on Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, while the books design elements are meant to evoke the stories king cobra villains, Nag and Nagaina. The black leather binding is meant to represent their skin, and the design of the colophon their hood. Their famous hood markings are also watermarked in the paper.

“In a career spanning over 70 years, American animator-director Charles Martin Jones (1912-2002), more famously known as, Chuck Jones, forged a legacy during the Golden Age of Animation, creating some of the most acclaimed and brilliantly designed cartoons and films during his lifetime. He made more than 300 animated films, winning three Oscars as director and in 1996 an honorary Oscar for Lifetime Achievement. Among the many awards and recognitions, one of those most valued was the honorary life membership of the Directors Guild of America. Jones's animation mastery was unparalleled. His character creations, such as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote, have possibly inspired more laughter across the globe over six generations than any other film maker.”

Rikki-Tikki-Tavi book
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Ham on Rye
By Charles Bukowski
Woodcuts by Sean Starwars
Oakland, California: Prototype Press, 2017. Edition of 52.

11.25 x 8"; 364 pages. 12 pt Goudy Powell typeface for text. 13 pt Headline Bold for the running heads. 15 line Condensed Gothic Bold typeface for chapter numbers and title page. Printed on custom handmade cotton paper from St. Armand. Two watermarks in paper: 'CB" for the author; "HC" for the author's alter-ego, Henry Chinaski. Illustrations printed from carved wood blocks. Quarter bound in foil-stamped pig leather with handmade black paper from St. Armand over boards. In black slipcase with title on spine. Numbered.

A new printing of the Charles Bukowski {1920-1994] novel Ham on Rye with woodcuts by Mississippi artist Sean Starwars.

Ham on Rye, wikipedia: "Ham on Rye is a 1982 semi-autobiographical novel by American author and poet Charles Bukowski. Written in the first person, the novel follows Henry Chinaski, Bukowski's thinly veiled alter ego, during his early years. ...[T]he novel tells of his coming-of-age in Los Angeles during the Great Depression."

Sean Starwars is a printmaker living and working in Laurel, Mississippi. He is a relief printmaking artist specializing in woodcuts.

Ham on Rye book
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Me, Myself and the Monkeyface Eel
By Kirk Lombard
illustrated by Leighton Kelly
Oakland, California: Prototype Press, 2015. Edition of 75.

9 x 6.5"; 52 pages. Printed in three colors on Somerset Book Paper from Monotype Hess Old Style and handset Libra types. Title page and Parts I & II foil-stamped. Images printed relief from linoleum carvings. Bound in handmade paper over boards with cow leather spine and foreedges. Appendices printed on paper handmade by the publishers with the help of Shotwell Paper Mill in San Francisco. Paper bears the watermark of Shotwell, as well as a fishing hook added for this project. Numbered. Signed by illustrator and author.

Prototype Press: "From the dank holes and fetid shores of Kirk Lombard's mind comes a deeply strange book, part memoir, part how-to, and part poetry, all teaching of his dealings with learning how to catch — and use to its full potential — the storied Monkeyface Eel from in and around the shores of the San Francisco Bay. Lombard's text is paired with artist Leighton Kelly's linoleum carvings, which illustrate the book throughout. "

Books and Vines, blog: "There is much … delightful commentary, plus a wealth of how-to and even recipes. The book comes with a separate small chap-book … with some verse from Mr. Lombard to go along with the main text … The numerous illustrations by Leighton Kelly, printed relief from linoleum carvings in what strikes me as a dark seaweed green color, carry exactly the right tone, matching the context and humorous nature of the tome (to use a word that perhaps Mr. Lombard would tongue in cheek use for this large and scholarly work!)."

Kirk Lombard is "a former Department of Department of Fish and Game fisheries observer, raconteur, tubist, monkeyface eel record holder, commercial fisherman, blogger and street performer." He conducts low-tide foraging expeditions along San Francisco's shoreline.

This is the first publication of Prototype Press.

Review by Books and Vines, March 23, 2015

Me, Myself and the Monkey face Eel book
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Sharp Teeth Press Publications
Prototype Press, History: "Since 2012, in his garage in San Francisco, David has been acquiring letterpress and typecasting equipment, printing and publishing books, and producing editioned prints with local artists."

Civil Disobedience
Written by Henry David Thoreau
Illustrated by Nate Van Dyke
San Francisco, California: Sharp Teeth Press, 2012. Edition of 150.

5.75 x 7.5"; 32 pages. Set in Monotype Italian Old Style. Printed damp in two colors on a treadled 10x15 C&P. Cast, printed and hand-bound by the press. Boards covered in handmade paper by Porridge paper Co. Spine covered in brown cow leather. Numbered. Signed by the illustrator.

The essay is accompanied by an illustration of Thoreau created by Nate Van Dyke, a self-taught California based artist.

The Whole Book Experience, blog: "Being a single essay, this is a small book of 32 pages but presented in a way that adds even more power to the essay. The thick Rives BFK paper allows the type to bite deeply into page. The hand-made paper sides contrast nicely with the brown cow leather spine; especially with the unevenness of the border that makes each book slightly different. Nate Van Dyke’s portrait of Thoreau for the frontispiece is striking and his expression perfectly suited to the seriousness of the essay. The use of the pilcrow, or paragraph mark, instead of indents takes some getting used to but adds to the uniqueness of the edition."

wikipedia: "Resistance to Civil Government (Civil Disobedience) is an essay by American transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau that was first published in 1849. In it, Thoreau argues that individuals should not permit governments to overrule or atrophy their consciences, and that they have a duty to avoid allowing such acquiescence to enable the government to make them the agents of injustice. Thoreau was motivated in part by his disgust with slavery and the Mexican–American War."

Review by Books and Vines, January 11, 2014

Civil Disobedience book
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Why Beer Matters
By Evan Rail
San Francisco, California: Sharp Teeth Press, 2012. Edition of 225.

7.25 x 9.75"; 23 pages. Cover illustration by Christine Dryer. Hand set in 14 pt California Old Style and Italic. Printed on white BFK Rives. Hand-sewn and case bound. Cover papers handmade from hop sacks donated by Anchor Brewing Co. Paper manufactured by Pam Deluco of Shotwell Paper Mill with help from Sharp Teeth Press. Numbered.

The Whole Book Experience, blog: "There are a couple of very nice touches in the design of this book above and beyond the aforementioned clever use of hop sacks. … the border between the cover paper and the quarter-binding of cloth is irregular, which I find striking. The hop plant seemingly growing out of the corner of the front cover adds a nice tie-in to the finishing ingredient in beer. The Rives BFK paper has a nice tactile feel and enough thickness to allow the handset Californian type to bite nicely into the paper without being so thick as to feel stiff.

"Evan Rail puts a lot of thought into why beer matters to us and provides plenty of examples to expand upon his ideas. First, he elucidates upon beer’s 'ambiguous relationship with the passing of time,' describing how brewers today can recreate beers of the past in ways that are impossible for other foodstuffs in general, and specifically with its beer’s uppity cousin wine. Second, he discusses the fact that beer wants to be drunk now, seemingly existing in the 'eternal now.' Interestingly, he contrasts the strong geographic grounding of some beers while demonstrating that it lacks the sense of terroir that wine, tea, and some other beverages can exhibit. Finally, he talks about the uniquely democratic characteristics of beer’s cost and egalitarianism. It’s enough to make one want to throw the book in a carry-on (carefully, of course, it’s fine press) and head to Munich for the Starkbierzeit or to Prague to visit what may be the oldest brewpub in the world, U Fleku."

Anchor Brewing, blog May 8, 2013, David Johnston: " My name is David Johnston, proprietor of Sharp Teeth Press in San Francisco. Sharp Teeth Press is a young publishing and job printing company dedicated to letterpress printing, typecasting, and bookbinding of the highest quality. Our first publication in 2013 is Why Beer Matters, by beer writer Evan Rail. Evan is the foremost English-speaking expert on Czech beer culture and wrote the CAMRA Good Beer Guide to Prague. He self-published his essay and released it only as an eBook last year. Sharp Teeth Press has produced the first print edition in a deluxe letterpress format …

" Some people argue that the first human civilizations were built up on a foundation of bread and beer-like fermented grains. At Sharp Teeth Press, we’d like to believe this is true, and we also believe that many of civilization’s greatest achievements during the past several hundred years have been made possible by the passage of information through printed media, primarily books. It is with great pleasure that we join together these two pillars of humanity, one scholarly and one gastronomical. Evan Rail points out that 'Fine wine, cheese and chocolate provide material for meditative sensory evaluations, of course, but the new interest in good beer has extended the opportunities for this type of calm introspection to millions of people beyond the traditionally rarefied realms of connoisseurs and gourmets.' We invite you to share his worldly and charming opinions on beer and its importance through our first offering, a labor of love and tradition, not unlike the brewing of beer itself"

Why Beer Matters book


Why Beer Matters book
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Out of print titles by Prototype Press:  
The Glamour Requirement
The 2014 Buffalo Jills Etiquette Guide
Editorial by Stefanie Kalem
Illustrations by Whitney Coffin Shaw
Oakland, California: Prototype Press, 2015. Edition of 30.

15 x 10"; 40 pages. Printed in three colors on Rives BFK from Monotype 20th Century and hand-set Futura types Images printed from photopolymer plates. Bound in Coptic style with a cover made from imitation football leather. Housed in a slipcase. Signed by Kalem and Shaw. Numbered.

Prototype Press: "In April 2014, the Buffalo Bills were sued by their cheerleading squad, the Buffalo Jills, for several labor law violations, some as basic as minimum wage rate of pay. In the ensuing law suit, a document titled 'Buffalo Jills Glamour Etiquette Hygiene Rules' became public and was published online. The appalling and insulting document is reproduced here with an editorial by Stefanie Kalem and illustrations by Whitney Coffin Shaw."
$950 (Last Copy)
The Glamour Requirement book
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Page last update: 04.14.2024

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