Affordable North: Opening for Local Handmade Book

Earlier this year, three of Northern Michigan’s pre-eminent artists—author Jerry Dennis, illustrator Glenn Wolff and handcrafted book-maker Chad Pastotnik—collaborated to create a book titled Winter Walks.

We suggest you take the opportunity to check it out at their upcoming opening, which will include a reading by Dennis and other works on display by Wolff and Pastotnik.

In the meantime, we asked Jerry Dennis to share a few thoughts about where the idea came from, what the men were hoping to achieve and some of the highlights along the way. 

I’ve been collaborating with Glenn Wolff for more than 20 years, and my admiration for him as an artist and a man just keeps growing. And when he introduced me to Chad Pastotnik a few years ago and the three of us got together to create a limited-edition broadside called “The Trout in Winter,” I learned that Chad’s talents and commitment to excellence are at the same level as Glenn’s. Right away we started talking about making a limited-edition book together, and last year it occurred to me that a long essay I’d been working on might be right for it. To my delight Glenn and Chad agreed.
Lately everyone in the New York publishing world is obsessed with electronic publishing and other new technologies. That’s fine with me, I’m interested in those things also, but I’ve never stopped being fascinated with the old technologies.

Working on this book, Winter Walks, was like stepping back to a slower, more deliberate age, when people had leisure to make things one at a time, carefully, and by hand. And we had great help. Emily Bert, my wife Gail and son Aaron, and Chad’s wife Kathryn all joined us in every step of the process, from setting type to running pages off the presses to stitching folios to binding the books themselves—all of us working many afternoons and often long into the night in Chad’s beautiful rustic studio in the woods of Antrim County.

I can’t tell you how much fun it was, or how satisfying it was to see each book take shape. It seemed somehow magical. And it didn’t escape our notice that while we worked on this book about the deep pleasures of winter in northern Michigan, the snow fell to record levels around us.

Traverse City opening for Winter Walks:
February 19,  5:30 p.m.
Watershed Center 13272 S. W. Bay Shore Dr., Traverse City.

RSVP by February 13 to Denise Baker, [email protected] or 231-935-1514.

Article Comments