WHITTINGTON PRESS. HANSCOMB, Brian. ~ The Phoenix.
Copper engraved frontispiece and 8 copper engravings and 8 haiku by Brian Hanscomb. No. xii of 40 copies with two additional copper engravings and haiku loose in a separate folder, signed by the artist. The copper engravings are printed on an early Fabriano Ingres paper and the text is printed in 12 point Caslon on Czech Loisin handmade paper with prelims and end leaves on Fabriano Ingres. 4to., bound in Fabriano Roma handmade paper wrappers, sewn in Japanese style on the outside with blue ribbon, printed paper label on upper cover, housed with the separate folder in a black paper covered slipcase. A very good copy.
The book was originally intended to be printed as ‘Spirit of Landscape’, being a collection of engravings and haiku inspired by Hanscomb’s love of West Country landscape. However, his studio burned down in 2002 and so ‘The Phoenix’ rose from the ashes. The book includes images from repaired fire-damaged plates and new work engraved since the fire.
The first haiku is on the snail and is a symbol of the artist and of Zen Buddhism: “both walking-meditation and engraving are very slow work but the journey itself can be as rewarding as the end result”.