In A Few Of My Favourite Books I share some delightful books from my personal collection. The second out of the plastic storage box in the loft is Cuts by Edwin Smith, a beautifully produced book from the Previous Parrot Press in Church Hanborough in Oxfordshire. I say beautifully produced, but when it says “printed electrostatically on Zerkall mould-made paper” it means that Dennis Hall photocopied it using his office photocopier.
Cuts is a beautiful object, with a red and grey paper binding and cream coloured deckle-edged paper. The pages are folded over and uncut so the printing is on one side of the paper only. A large part of the charm of Edwin Smith’s cuts is the inventive and humorous use of everyday objects. Ribbons, lace, a fork, chains, tools or fronds of seaweed are all turned into repeating pattern designs.
My favourite cuts are the impish figures and I find the tall man in a top hat and a cape carrying a woman naked except for stockings darkly humorous.
Edwin George Herbert Smith (15 May 1912 – 29 December 1971) was an English photographer. He is best known for his distinctive vignettes of English gardens, landscapes, and architecture. On his own or in partnership with his wife, the artist and writer Olive Cook, he authored or contributed to numerous books during his lifetime and his photographs are still regularly used today.
It was published in 1992 in an edition of 178 copies. Mine is number 159. What do you think about ‘Cuts’?