Letterpress & Binding Studio

The Temperamental Rose

& other ways of seeing colour
Barbara Hodgson & Claudia Cohen (HM Editions 2007)

A book borne during the collaborators’ first meeting, in the summer of 2006, when they discovered mutual passions for colour wheels and other systems for charting and codifying colours. Inspired by centuries of colour studies, including those of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and M.-E. Chevreul, the authors reproduce existing colour wheels as well as create new and fanciful ways of seeing colour. An introductory essay discusses the history of colour, and each of the charts is accompanied by explanatory text.

Designed by Barbara, all of the text (set in Fournier) and the outlines of the colour charts were printed letterpress by David Clifford at Black Stone Press. Barbara then spent six weeks doing the extensive handwork (i.e. colouring) required to complete each copy.

The book was bound by Claudia in a three-piece case, with leather spine and fore edges. The boards are covered in an early 20th century European embossed paper, over which a number of different circular leather overlays are placed. The book (7 x 9 inches, 40 pp) is issued in a clamshell box, along with a set of six dry artist's pigments in wax-sealed glass vials. The edition is 30 numbered copies, signed by the creators, and 5 A.P. copies. The first 8 copies in the edition include an original hand-coloured wheel considered for, but ultimately not used in the book.

Barbara also created three hors commerce digitally-printed miniature versions of The Temperamental Rose, complete with all the colouring, embroidery and pop-up “Purgatory” in the original. Each miniature was issued in a decorated paper box, with a miniature magnifying glass to aid reading.

The Temperamental Rose

The Temperamental Rose