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Showing posts from January, 2018

Manhattan Fine Press Book Fair

A great pitch by my friend Russell Maret:

Podcast: David Esslemont on the history of the Gregynog and Solmentes Presses

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Nigel Beale aka The Literary Tourist, came to visit and recorded our conversation in which he asked me about the history of the Gregynog Press, my time there as the Controller (artistic and managing director, and printer) of Gwasg Gregynog from 1985–97, and the evolution of Solmentes Press. Listen to the podcast at The Biblio File (link below).

Waxing lyrical about the the press's setting amidst the rolling hills of Montgomeryshire, I talk about its founders, the wealthy Davies sisters, some of the key players such as Blair Hughes-Stanton (coincidentally one of my tutors at the Central School of Art), and some of the outstanding books produced there up to 1945, when the press closed.

Encouraged by John Ryder and Ian Mortimer, among others, I joined the press from Newcastle upon Tyne where I had been printing and publishing since 1978. It was a significant move, I learnt to speak Welsh, and delighted in the literary and artistic traditions of Wales. Over the course of 12 years I w…

Englishman makes pizza from scratch and sells recipe for $$$$

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It all began with a dream of establishing a self-sufficient “Pizza Farm” business. 



Decorah, IA – Artist David Esslemont dreamt of establishing a “Pizza Farm”. He grew wheat and tomatoes and built a clay oven – but it just wasn’t feasible. However, he had another idea: a limited edition hand-printed book.

Pizza from Scratch, a visual narrative in woodcuts and linocuts, tells the story of how he literally grew a pizza on his farm in Iowa. With orders from distinguished institutions such as the Library of Congress and the British Library the book promises to be quite a success, and with copies selling for up to $4,800, it will help pay the heating bills this winter.


Weeds, fire, cultivating, seeds, seedlings, broadcasting, harrowing, harvesting, threshing and construction details are all depicted together with a diagram proving Pythagoras's theorem (used to make a right angle when laying out the foundation for the walls).

Esslemont grows the oven from scratch. Cement block walls supp…

Pizza from Scratch – The story of a visual narrative

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I have an interest in food – okay it’s a passion – actually it’s an obsession: I am obsessed with food and cooking, today it's pizza cooked from scratch in a wood-fired oven. Some of my earliest memories of cooking date back to when I was a Boy Scout: delicious, smoky, crispy outside, soft inside “benders and twisters” – simple wheat flour dough balls stretched around a stick, cooked over a campfire.
Later, travels in Italy and the revelation that the Holy Trinity was in fact garlic, tomatoes and olive oil, and the best pizzas where cooked in wood-fired ovens, helped fuel this passion for cooking that become an obsession.

I want to know where my food has come from. If the food is processed, what are the ingredients and where did they come from? How were they grown/raised? I want to taste natural flavors, not chemicals; naturally ripened tomatoes, not bland, anemic imposters – I don’t want to worry about pesticide or herbicide residues. So, I grow fruit and vegetables following or…