Letters

Letters 08-24-2015

Bush And Blame Jeb Bush strikes again. Understand that Bush III represents the nearly extinct, compassionate-conservative, moderate wing of the Republican party...

No More State Theatre I was quite surprised and disgusted by an article I saw in last week’s edition. On pages 18 and 19 was an article about how the State Theatre downtown let some homosexual couple get married there...

GMOs Unsustainable Steve Tuttle’s column on GMOs was both uninformed and off the mark. Genetic engineering will not feed the world like Tuttle claims. However, GMOs do have the potential to starve us because they are unsustainable...

A Pin Drop Senator Debbie Stabenow spoke on August 14 to a group of Democrats in Charlevoix, an all-white, seemingly middle class, well-educated audience, half of whom were female...

A Slippery Slope Most of us would agree that an appropriate suggestion to a physician who refuses to provide a blood transfusion to a dying patient because of the doctor’s religious views would be, “Please doctor, change your profession as a less selfish means of protecting your religious freedom.”

Stabilize Our Climate Climate scientists have been saying that in order to stabilize the climate, we need to limit global warming to less than two degrees. Renewables other than hydropower provide less than 3 percent of the world energy. In order to achieve the two degree scenario, the world needs to generate 11 times more wind power by 2050, and 36 times more solar power. It will require a big helping of new nuclear power, too...

Harm From GMOs I usually agree with the well-reasoned opinions expressed in Stephen Tuttle’s columns but I must challenge his assertions concerning GMO foods. As many proponents of GMOs do, Mr. Tuttle conveniently ignores the basic fact that GMO corn, soybeans and other crops have been engineered to withstand massive quantities of herbicides. This strategy is designed to maximize profits for chemical companies, such as Monsanto. The use of copious quantities of herbicides, including glyphosates, is losing its effectiveness and the producers of these poisons are promoting the use of increasingly dangerous substances to achieve the same results...

Home · Articles · News · Features · A PRESSING Engagement
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A PRESSING Engagement

Al Parker - October 3rd, 2011  
Chad Postatnik creates books that are stunning works of art

Driving west and north out of Mancelona, it’s not too long before you’re surrounded by a lush green forest where you find the gurgling waters of the under-rated Cedar River.

It’s a place you’d expect to find anglers seeking trout, not where you’d first look for an artist who specializes in producing handcrafted printed items, bindings and books.

With a solid background in both fine art and printing, Chad Postatnik established Deep Wood Press in 1992 on 3.5 wooded acres that hug the Cedar. Now almost 20 years later, he continues to produce publications that are both stunning works of art and elegant vehicles for information and enjoyment.

“Our books are printed via letterpress on fine papers and illustrated with quality artwork from original wood engravings, lino cuts and intaglio prints,” explains Postatnik, who grew up in Cadillac. “These sheets are then bound by hand in traditional and contemporary book structures to please the eye as well as the mind – which we endeavor to impress as carefully as our papers.”

HAND-BOUND BOOKS

Deep Wood Press publishes hand-bound books in limited edition runs, usually 100 to 150 or so.

Postatnik focuses on the works of past and contemporary artists and writers in original book designs using traditional and modern binding styles.

Some of the publications he has produced include

: • “Heart of Darkness” by Joseph Conrad

• “Winter Walks” by Jerry Dennis

• “Along With Youth” by Ernest Hemingway

• “The Chesapeake Voyages of Captain John Smith”

• “The Changeling’s Exile” by Gerard Wozek

• “The Frogs Who Wished a King” by Aesop

Producing Conrad’s classic short story was interesting and challenging, according to Postatnik. “The guy loved m-dashes, colons and semi-colons, so editing was a nightmare” he says with a laugh. “But it came out beautifully.”

In fact, his publication of “Heart of Darkness” won him the prestigious 2010 Carl Hertzog Award for Excellence in Book Design. That award prompted an invitation to make a speaking tour to Northern England where he spoke at venerable Manchester University.

There’s something about the classic lead fonts, durable old presses (Deep Wood Press has six, along with a linotype and a binder) and hand-made cotton papers that resonates with Postatnik.

“Every time I roll a piece of cotton paper over the type face, it just blows me away,” he says with a smile.

Postatnik is a staunch supporter of environmental causes, devoting both his time and treasure to local efforts.

“We’re a ‘green business’ he says proudly.

“Our cotton paper is recycled from cotton rags and our inks are linseed oil based. We primarily make our own inks for blacks and earth tones. It’s basically adding powder to oil, but a little more complex. We do things the traditional way – we don’t cut corners.”

STUDENT OF HISTORY

Like a lot of fine press artists, Postatnik is a student of history and has real appreciation for the printer’s patron saint – Johannes Gutenberg, a German blacksmith whose invention of moveable type printing around the middle of the 15th century is widely regarded as the most important event over past centuries.

Gutenberg was recognized by the A&E Network as the most influential person of the second millennium and in 1997 Time Magazine named his invention as the most important of the same era.

“It brought on the Reformation,” explains Postatnik. “It was the beginning of the Information Age. And his technology didn’t really change for years, until the 1960s and ’70s.”

Currently Postatnik is working on six separate publications, but he didn’t always have the luxury of working only on projects he felt strongly about.

“We did a lot of wedding invitations and job work to keep the money coming in,” he says. “It’s a business. Any kind of art is a business. It has every element that any other small business has. You have your supplies, your marketing, working with other people. But I enjoy it, especially now that I can do what I really enjoy.”

As a youngster, Postanik always had an artistic bent and always had his nose in a book. “In high school, a teacher gave me a back supply room to use for studio space,” he recalls. “I knew then that art was what I wanted to do. Then I was offered an art scholarship to Grand Valley.”

After earning a BFA in printmaking from Grand Valley State University in 1991, Postatnik spent a short time “living in the urban world” before returning to Northern Michigan. He feels lucky to have found the spot on the Cedar River where he and his wife Kathryn are raising two children.

“Summer is full of fly fishing, kayaking, gardening and music making,” he says. “Our long winters allow for plenty of fun skiing, snowshoes and that’s the time to really enjoy the sauna. While there are plenty of distractions, work in the studio is never work and being able to raise a family in such a wonderful environment is something we’re thankful for every day.”


 
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