A Pocket Full of Change. Woodcut and Letterpress artist book, plates 8″ X 8″, overall 9.5″ 9.5″. Edition of 100, counting 20 in the Parent Teacher Nanny sub-edition . 2015. $300.
A Pocket Full of Change, Parent Teacher Nanny Edition. Woodcut and Letterpress artist book. Plates 8″ X 8″, overall 9.5″ 9.5″. Edition of 20, as a subset of the standard Pocket Full of Change edition of 100. 2015. $400.
A POCKET FULL OF CHANGE is the story of a boy who goes out one day on his bicycle with a pocket full of coins, and puts them one by one on railroad tracks to be run over by trains. It’s told in rhymes, set in movable type, and illustrated with 20 original, multi-color woodcut prints.
Originally exhibited with individual, framed prints at Tregoning and Company, the book comprises impressions from 109 wood blocks, using Shina for the landscapes, and oak for the skies. Thirty-three additional blocks were made with magnesium, linoleum, and brass tool, to create the coins, the various birds, and the rain.
“I remembered the hot summer afternoon when my best friend Chip and I rode our bikes over to the tracks to do a little science: set down different coins on the tracks and watch wide-eyed with anticipation as the Rapid train rolled over them in a blur…” — William Tregoning, speaking to Cleveland Scene
Among the Cleveland scenes represented are the intersection of Denison and Lorain Avenues, a view of the Downtown Skyline from railroad tracks near Columbus Avenue on the West bank of the Flats, and a frame house on West 64th Street that once belonged to my father’s grandfather.
The bond to Cleveland’s West side is strengthened by the inclusion of graffiti art from several of the more influential street artists of the 90s: In order of appearance, Shrug, Dale Caruso, The Sign Guy, Prae, Poke, Verb, and Lost.
In the beginning, Jake’s primary concern is the way the coins behave as they are crushed by the passing trains. He starts with a penny, then a nickle and a dime, and as the value of each coin increases, he considers the value of money vs. the value of his ongoing experiment. The story is complete when he crushes a silver dollar.
There are autobiographical elements in A Pocket Full of Change, but they have more to do with the scenery and some details than actual events in my life. The house in the background as Jake pedals down the block, for example, bears a resemblance to my home. The fact that Jake rides a bike is a manifestation of my own lifelong interest in bicycles. I’ve met all the graffiti artists whose work is represented here. The graffiti on the tree in front of my great grandfather’s house is, let’s say, personal.
I decided to use oak boards to print the skies when I began to see clouds in the patterns of the grain.
As a subset in the edition of 100, I made a Parent Teacher Nanny Edition of 20, with footnotes to motivate and guide discussion. The footnotes pose questions, add information, and add dimensions to the narrative.
The main text is set in 18 point Century Schoolbook foundry type. The footnotes to the Parent Teacher Nanny Edition are set in 10 point Century Schoolbook Italic, cast in hot metal on the Linotype machine at Madison Press in Lakewood, Ohio.
A pocket Full of Change, $300
A pocket Full of Change, Parent Teacher Nanny Edition, $400
Individual prints: $150