The Bear that Woke Too Soon
The Bear That Woke Too Soon. Kent, Wash.: Red Door Studio, 1964. 34 x 24 cm.
Call Number: (BKRT) PZ10.3 P366 Be
COLOPHON: The Bear That Woke Too Soon is the second in a projected series of limited edition books printed at Red Door Studio. It is limited to one hundred copies numbered and signed by the artist-author. The illustrations for this edition were printed from the original woodcuts on a Gordon Platen Press. The text has been hand set in Spartan types and has been printed on Hamilton's vellum opaque cover stock. This is volume number 44.
"The Bear That Woke Too Soon had its beginnings while on a week stuck in Juneau, Alaska waiting for the weather to clear to visit Hains, Alaska. The ferry boat to Hains was held at anchor by a strong gale blowing down the Lynn Canal. With nothing to do but wait, I started writing. Many of the activities found in the story I saw happening outside the window of a friend's house I was staying with. By the end of the week the storms abated, but I had to return to the duties of teaching at the University of Alaska and I did not get into Hains until the following summer.
"My notes were put aside and I did not start seriously writing it until I returned to Kent, Washington after fulfilling my duties as Artist-in-Residence and establishing the art department for the University of Alaska. This is my second book and as the text grew I knew I must find type to print it. I chose the Spartan type face as it looked well with the woodcuts. I had turned the flywheel of my Gordon Platen Press by hand for Little No Name, but when I did it for a week I developed tendinitis and went searching for a variable speed electric motor and rheostat.
The binding was constructed to the Seven Day Adventist bindery in Walla Walla, Washington. As with Little No Name, the book is composed of single sheets, not signatures, so the result is a binding that will not lay flat. However it is stitched, not stapled, an improvement structurally if not aesthetically."