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Up the hill

Up the hill

I'm really not one for new year's resolutions. Or rather, I love them, but I am tragically bad at keeping them. This year, I didn't even start my resolution of walking up the hill every day until the second week in January, when there was a break in the rain. (Better late than never?) It's about 30-40 minutes door-to-door. On a clear day, the view at the top is spectacular. You can see all the way to the ocean, which is miles away. Sometimes there are sheep and ponies (but no cows this time of year). Later there will be lambs and foals. The outdoors is the reason we chose to move to Princetown, and we absolutely love it.
 
Last week I mentioned that things would be a little different in the print shop this year. I am so excited about it. It started last year with the Dartmoor foraged work. Then, our green flip top notebooks, and pocket-sized notebooks followed. Then, over Christmas, I had a perfect storm of inspiration. We visited Folde, I got a copy of Write, Print, Fold, and Staple, and I saw a copy of Bryan Nash's wood cut memory game.
 
I became obsessed with the idea of making themed collections about the Dartmoor environment. See, my training is actually in environmental science. (If you'd ever like to know about the growth rates of rock bass, or the distribution of breeding stock of Atlantic turbot, I'm your gal. I've also dabbled in the use of diatoms for palaeoenvironmental reconstruction.) The great thing about moving to a new place (like Dartmoor) is you get to partake in a child-like, deep dive because everything around you is new.
 
One of the amazing things about living on the high moor of Dartmoor is that it looks like a giant sea of nothing but grass. But if you look closely, I mean really closely, there is an incredible amount of diversity. At first it's a little overwhelming because everything is new and different and you don't know the names for any of it. Then, over time, you start to see familiar things. You give things names. (You eventually learn the proper Latin names for things.) But mostly you start to develop your sense of place.
 
And this is it. This sense of place is what we're going to print about in 2024. To make things a little more focused for our production, we're going to start with a themed collection. We're still working out the details, but I'm anticipating a chapbook / zine, a poster, a matching game (!!!), and at least one notebook (I have learned y'all love notebooks!).
 
The first collection will centre around oak forests. This is mostly because I think more people have access to oak forests than peatlands, but also because my father was concerned that the photos I showed him of where we lived on Dartmoor didn't have enough trees. He wanted more trees. So, we'll start there.
 
If you have a special affinity to any particular things that grow in oak forests that you'd like to see incorporated into the collection, please let me know!
 
I can't decide what I'm most excited about producing, but I can say I've ordered a couple of new fonts from Urbanfox and Effra Press (Gill extra bold, light, floriated, and a bunch of 14pt Plantin), and I've been auditioning plants, mosses, lichens, and fungi for the matching game. I've also been test-driving a few of our new Perpetua founts. The biggest downer so far is learning the 24pt Bold is missing all of its ligatures. UGH. (More about this next week.)
 
And there we have it: the new year's resolution I'm a little late in keeping, the proclamation of what we'll be printing this year, and the reason we're clearing old stock out of the studio.
 
I can't wait to chat again next week.