[DA - A Journal of the Printing Arts]

`Though an angel should write, still 'tis devils must print.'
    -- Thomas Moore, 1779-1852, Irish musician and songwriter

[DA 55, Fall / Winter 2004]

Number 55, Fall / Winter 2004

Touch, Community and Aesthetics:
Where Harold Kurschenska's
Designs Take Us

by Brian Donnelly

Harold Kurschenska's
Private Press Printing:
A Preliminary Checklist
by Don McLeod and Brian Donnelly

General Specialist, Special Generalist:
Laurie Lewis's Many Roles
at the University of Toronto Press
by Brian Donnelly

Revolutionary Ink:
Negotiating a Canadian Modern
in the Work of Peter Dorn
by Brian Donnelly

About the Art of the Book
in Canada (1971)
by Peter Dorn

Includes a wood engraving
printed letterpress
by Peter Bartl and Jane Merks
at pb+j press in Balfour, BC

You may also be interested

in Ornamental Initials

or perhaps Tailpieces?

or more Headpieces?

including these
which appeared in DA 57?

or these boxed designs
which will appear in DA 59?

or these boxed designs
which will also appear in DA 59?

or even a few colorized dingbats
we used on a promotional bookmark

Dingbats, Ornaments
and Fanciful Initials

Tim Inkster

Elke and I moved from the City of Toronto to Erin Village in the fall of 1971. We were surprised, at first, at the isolation of our situation -- a mere sixty miles north-west of the corner of Steeles and Islington, but a world removed from the student life we had come to know at University College in the University of Toronto in the late sixties.

The Main Street of Erin Village backs on to a millpond that was flooded in the mid-nineteenth century to further the commercial interests of Mundell Lumber, which continues to retail dry goods into the early part of the twenty-first century. West of the millpond and rising above it 250 vertical feet there is a sizeable glacial `moraine' -- millions of tons of dolomite (mostly) furrowed out of the Credit River Valley ten thousand years earlier and pushed up into a modest sequence of rolling hills.

Elke and I walked those hills, frequently, in the fall of 1971, and one day we happened on the stone foundation of a barn that had fallen into ruin. In the foundation there were boxes,

and boxes, and boxes of books.

Hundreds of copies in fact of John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress amongst other titles that were of little interest except that some of the multiple editions of Pilgrim's Progress had been typeset rather well, with intriguing ornaments such as you see here.

[A Globe]

Encouraged by the prospect of the ornaments, I salvaged several dozen boxes of several thousand books which included several tens of thousands of engravings from the ruins of the barn. Some years later, my father Walt found himself unexpectedly dismissed from a high-tech job at Bell-Northern Research laboratories in Ottawa.

The thought occurred (to me) that Walt should have something thrust immediately in his lap to divert his attention from his situation. I suggested Walt undertake to extract (with scissors, and paste) the initials, engravings and ornaments found in the books,

and to categorize same (a not-inconsiderable task).

[Two Poppies]

[Two Dolphins]

The Devil's Artisan intends to present an ever-larger digital library of these images, available at no charge for download as shareware, for the favour of which we would appreciate a credit to `Walter Inkster, the Devil's Artisan'.

It amuses me, some, that these images are now to be made available on the World Wide Web, and that my father was prematurely dismissed for insisting that the future of Bell Telephone lay in the direction of fibre optics.

[Two Clowns]

My father, as it turns out, was correct.

[Some Sort of Vine]

To download what you see here, right-click on any image, which should give you the option of viewing it in a rather large scale or saving it to your local machine. This stratagem works fine in Netscape, Mozilla and Konqueror. I'm less sure about Explorer. You may also be interested in Ornamental Initials or perhaps Tailpieces?

The originals are of various sizes, but all were scanned (consistently) at 600 dpi.

Questions, comments or suggestions about this web page, e-mail publisher Tim Inkster.

For story suggestions for the Devil's Artisan or other editorial concerns
please e-mail editor Don McLeod.

[Two Fish]

If you're intending to subscribe to the Devil's Artisan, you may be interested to know that we now accept subscription orders paid by VISA (only, not Amex or MasterCard) by voice phone at (519) 833-9158 or (preferably) fax at (519) 833-9845. Please include your name, VISA card number and expiry date on your faxed order. Please also include a voice telephone number or an e-mail address in case of trouble. Please do NOT send us credit card information via e-mail (it's dangerous).

A down-loadable subscription form in Adobe "PDF" format is available by clicking here. Back issues of the Devil's Artisan are also available on abebooks.com

ISSN 0225-7874

A Rogue's Gallery   |    The Gauntlet Press   |    The Anchorage Press   |    The Gourmet Vandercook  |    The Porcupine's Quill

Headpieces   |    Ornamental Initials  |    Tailpieces  |    Sample Issue  |    Back Issues

The Devil's Artisan would like to acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada
through the Canada Magazine Fund (CMF) through the Support for Arts and Literary Magazines (SALM) component
toward our editorial and production costs. Thanks, as well, for the generosity
of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council,
Random House Canada and the Upper Canada Brewing Company.

Contents © 2006 The Devil's Artisan. Updated: 08 Mar 2008 by Tim Inkster
Web page created 97-10-08 by Brenda J. Sharpe

[A Vampire Bat]

To tour the beginnings of a digital library
of dingbats, start here.