THE RUSTY PLATE Tim Ahern (1979)
The Rusty Plate was a book written by Tim Ahern, an old friend of mine. Tim wrote the text, a dark yet strangely humorous story about nuclear meltdowns á la Three Mile Island (which had happened not long before). Taking a cue from the text, I designed the book so that it looked a little like a comic book (I hand-lettered the text throughout) and put images from U.S. Government nuclear testing from the fifties behind the text and as the end sheets. I silkscreened an image of willow leaves on the rust colored book cloth fabric. I recorded on a small Nakamichi reel-to-reel tape recorder (way before there was an easy digital way of doing this) a sound track that was meant to play while the book was being read. The cassette tape was made to be attached to the front cover of the book and the cassette case had a matching willow leaf pattern that I also silk-screened on there.
I printed the book during the summer of 1979 on the AB Dick offset duplicator at Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester NY. The edition was 100 and I sewed the books and cased it in and made duplicates of the cassette. Most of the books were sold at Printed Matter in New York City. The book is 8" x 5.5" and about 1" in depth with the cassette case attached. This book is OUT OF PRINT.