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Crooked Letter Press ~ Florida
(Ellen Knudson)

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Ellen Knudson Ellen Knudson: "“I believe that making things by hand creates a connection to people. For me, making books by hand is not simply a means to an end — the handmade aspect is a large part of the conceptual statement I make. I’m interested in the taking of time, the appreciation of materials, the practical choices involved in the making and the experience of meaningful, understandable work. Those processes involve intimacy, observation, and distillation. That is ultimately what my work is about.”

Illustrated Bookmaking
By Ellen Knudson
Gainesville, Florida: Crooked Letter Press, 2021. Edition of 200.

5”W x 15”H; 32 pages. Printed by Newspaper Club in color.

Ellen Knudson: "I developed these drawings for my own educational and instructional purposes over years of teaching my Book Arts class. Creating diagrams helps me understand the structures better, and I can teach them in a more complete way as a result. Although somewhat directional, the diagrams included in this publication are intended to supplement in-person (or online) bookmaking instruction and practice.

"I’m indebted to others that have provided instructions in book binding and inspirational note-taking; many of these diagrams stem from their teachings: Anna Embree, Sarah Bryant, Heather Weston, Alisa Golden, and Frank Zeier in particular. "I hope people find these drawings beautiful, educational, and useful!"

Illustrated Bookmaking book
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Rule of Thumb
By Ellen Knudson
Gainesville, Florida: Crooked Letter Press, 2021. Edition of 40.

Dimensions closed: 11” x 6.5” x 1.5”; 24 pages including free end pages. Materials: colorplan 300 gsm paper, letterpress ink, tyvek, book cloth, metal brads and grommets. Printed on and constructed from Colorplan paper. Letterpress printed from linoleum reduction blocks and photopolymer plates. Printed using Goudy Old Style typeface for text and Fette UNZ Franktur for titles; Frutiger typefaces for Colophon. Accordion spine binding with illustrated boards. Laid in matching folding box. Signed and numbered by the artist.

Crooked Letter Press: "'Rule of Thumb' is a moveable book about the historical human obsession with ourselves and with approval from others. In the last 10 years, we have become obsessed with living online instead of actual living. We seem to only care about how many thumbs up, likes, or hearts we can accumulate on social media platforms. We practice a psychological social separation. We live virtual lives. Now, with the proliferation of the COVID-19 virus, we are living with the physical reality of social-distancing. How will we make it back? Can we make it back? 'Rule of Thumb' considers the ways in which humans have used our thumbs to, at best, twist reality, and at worst, ruin ourselves."

A lovely visual book by Ellen Knudson using types of moveable construction to accentuate the use of thumbs in our lives. There are pull tabs, volvelles as well as a pop-up thumb to accentuate how often we use of thumbs. She accompanies the illustrations and movables with quotations about thumbs in use. There is the "Sticks out like a sore thumb" with a volvelle to move a thumb into position. Quotes and references range from "Under My Thumb" by the Rolling Stones to a quote from "Satires" by Juvenal (100 AD).

Rule of Thumb book
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By Ellen Knudson
Gainesville, Florida: Crooked Letter Press, 2019.
Edition of 100 (1-53 Deluxe; 54-100 Standard).

4.625 x 5.75" folded. (12 x 18" flat). Single sheet book. Three linoleum cut prints. Printed from photopolymer plates. Written, designed, letterpress printed, and bound by Ellen Knudson. Signed and numbered by the artist.

Deluxe: Printed on Okawara paper. Includes wrapper enclosure made from Cave Paper treated with foil stamp and metal grommets. Interior pocket "FEAR" and "DOUBT" cards to be used for personal notes.

Standard: Printed on Mohawk Superfine 80# text paper. Delivered flat with instructions to fold into book structure if desired. Wrapper enclosure and pocket cards are not included with the standard edition.

Crooked Letter Press: "Talisman is an offering in support of artists and creative people that might be feeling alone in the world these days. Since 2016, as an artist (and as a human being) I have found it difficult to feel motivated while the worst traits of humanity have not only surfaced in our country, but are being celebrated. Writers and artists before us have lived through similarly poisonous times and created iconic works despite the tumultuous climate. Talisman is an amulet, a charm to keep with us. The linocut image of the boat-tailed grackle is intended to be a familiar spirit to guide us through rough territory. In times like these, it helps to keep our friends close."

$300 Deluxe
$100 Standard

(Deluxe version)
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Talisman standard version book
(Standard version)
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Ingress / Egress
By Ellen Knudson
Sarasota, Florida: Ringling College of Art + Design Letterpress, 2015. Edition of 50.

6 x 9"; 6 french-fold structures. Printed on Japanese mulberry paper from photopolymer plates by Boxcar Press. Typefaces used Humanist 521 BT, Spectrum MT, and Spindle (drawn by Ellen Knudson). Designed by Ellen Knudson. Letterpress printed and produced at the Ringling College Letterpress and Book Arts Center.

With graphic design and text Ingress / Egress explores and explains books from 6 perspectives – Books Are Architecture, Collections, Environments, Maps, Plans, and Processes. As the text on the last page of the last French-fold structure says: "Have your book, and eat it too."

Crooked Letter Press: "Ingress / Egress is an artist's book that contemplates the design of artists' books. The intent of the piece is to encourage ideation on the theme 'books are'. The six French-fold books use geometry, visual design, text, and imagery to investigate topics such as 'Books Are Architecture' and 'Books Are Collections.' The French folds are housed in a wrapper & clamshell enclosure. Books are letterpress printed on Japanese mulberry paper from photopolymer plates. The translucency of the mulberry paper produces layers of reading in each book, and the potential interaction of layers amongst the entire suite of books."
Ingress / Egress book
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Made Up
By Ellen Knudson
Gainesville, Florida: Crooked Letter Press, 2014/2015. Edition of 50.

6 x 12.25"; 17 pages. Typefaces: Spectrum and Franklin Gothic Condensed printed from photo-polymer plates. Cell images: multi-block and reduction linoleum prints. Printed on Mohawk 100# text weight papers. Drum-leaf binding with foldouts. Laid in clamshell enclosure of Davey board, Dover book cloth and Colorplan papers. . Edition of 50: 1 -5 deluxe (Out of Print) with 14 prints in a large box, 6 – 10 with different detail image from prints in the clamshell window. Written, designed, and letterpress printed by Ellen Knudson. Signed and numbered by the artist.

Deluxe edition (out of print): 19" x 14" x 2.5" sectioned clamshell box containing 14 unfolded prints with copy of the book "Made Up". Base of box sectioned for book on right and 9 sheets 12 x 12" with title page, text and images. 18.25 x 12.25" separate "board" laid over sectioned compartments. 8 prints 18 x 12" each laid on separation board.

Ellen Knudson: "Made Up is a non-scientific science book about the imaginary cellular composition of the human body. Fourteen cells are illustrated: Anger, Curiosity, Failure, Fear, Jealousy, Joy, Knowledge, Location, Love, The Past, Success, Talent, Trust, Work.

"The cell images are vibrant multi-block and reduction linoleum prints with a diagram explaining how each cell operates. The text is playfully pseudo-scientific and presents theories about the attributes that 'make up' a person.

"The inspiration for
Made Up stems from a general fascination with how things are constructed. I often think about how people are similar and how we are different, and wonder how those similarities and differences occur. I had been drawing cells in my sketchbook and formed the idea of imaginary, emotional cellular structures that might 'make up' a person. I listed fourteen types of cells (Anger, Curiosity, etc.) and wrote text for each cell using indirectly scientific language. To further support the pseudo-scientific nature of the books' content, I used a non-digital form of image creation for the cells — multi-block linoleum cuts."

Ellen Knudson, deluxe edition (Out of Print): "The color multiple block linoleum prints of imaginary cellular structures are featured without text in their pure, vibrant glory. The Deluxe edition (Out of Print) is limited to 5 copies, numbers 1 through 5. … Each box has a window that features a detail from a selected print. Each of the five Deluxe copies have a different print in the window."

Made Up book
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Subject / Verb / Object
By Ellen Knudson
Gainesville, Florida: Crooked Letter Press, 2012. Edition of 85.

Volvelle (12" in diameter) enclosed in a sleeve 13 x 13 x 0.25" closed, 26 x 13" open. Letterpress printed on a Vandercook Universal I from handset metal types and photopolymer plates. Body text is 12 point Stymie Medium and Bold. Larger type is combination of various display metal types. Volvelle, interior sleeve, and belly band printed on Murillo paper. Exterior sleeve covered in Iris Book cloth in Coffee.

Ellen Knudson: "The concept behind the book stems from the frustration and anger I feel towards art criticism and other academic writing. Academic language seems intended to control its audience, exclude 'outsiders,' and is not meant to clarify the subject for a reader. It takes the beauty and passion out of language and, in turn, out of people. Subject/Verb/Object pokes at this idea by doing something similar: it uses simplistic language and structure to force the reader to attempt a visual organization of the things we cannot put in order: our desires."
Subject / Verb / Object book
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Lugubrious Distance
Experiencing mourning and loss for North Carolina, almost to an exaggerated degree.
By Leigh Ellen Wall [when she began the book] and Ellen Knudson [at its completion]
Gainesville, Florida: Crooked Letter Press, 2011. Edition of 50.

8.75 x 6 x 1.5"; 44 pages. Handset in Palatino 10 pt, 18 pt, and 42 pt and in Harold Berliner's Lutetia Italic. Letterpress printed on a Vandercook Universal I. Each book took 75 passes through the press. Printed on Rives BFK (Buff) with the interleaved pages the artist's handmade Philippine Gampi paper. Fly sheets are Moriki Kozo, Tan. Stab binding cased into a hard cover/soft spine structure. Enclosed in a handmade slipcase.

Crooked Letter Press: "Images: Halftone 4-color process prints created from the artist's color illustrations, letterpress printed from magnesium plates. Images are interpretations of: Ghosts, Magnolia, Heat, Storms, Lightning Bugs, June Bugs, and Honeysuckle. The line drawings are from the Webster's Dictionary circa 1950."

Ellen Knudson: "Lugubrious Distance was initiated in 1998 as a project for the year-long Editions class at Columbia College Center for Book and Paper Arts in Chicago. The subject of the book is an extreme longing for the familiarities of home. ... The book was officially complete in 2010 - and I still miss N.C."

Ellen Knudson, from the Prologue: "I only recently left North Carolina, having lived in both Carolinas my entire life. It seems ludicrous now, but I somehow thought I was a city girl, that I cared nothing about quiet, warmth, trees, and the absence of crowds – all of the things a city lacks. North Carolina kept its arms around me for so long I began to hate its comfort. I struggled against it and like a good parent it let me go, knowing all along I would miss it. It bided its time, doing what it does and let the longing build in me. The realization of what I'd lost crept up on me, caught me off guard like steam after a cool rain. These are the details, the myths, and the handwriting on the wall – the how and why it wriggled its way into my heart. (The text above was written in 1998. It is all still true, except that we left North Carolina fourteen years ago.)"

Lugubrious Distance book
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Wild Girls Redux: An Operator's Manual
By Ellen Knudson
Starkville, Mississippi: Crooked Letter Press, 2009. Edition of 100.

5 x 8 closed; 20 x 8" extended; 24 pages. Accordion folded portfolio with single section pamphlets sewn in. The book cover is flocked paper in maroon. Lining paper is letterpress Hahnemühle Bugra paper. The book is letterpress printed on Indian Sunn Hemp Contemporary. Other papers include pink heart paper dollies, white doily place mats, and green office ledger papers. Halftone line art created from pin-up girl images and industrial schematic drawings, printed form photopolymer plates. Each book contains a set of letterpress printed stickers that match illustrations included in the book. The hand cut stickers can be applied to the pages or kept in their envelope mounted to the inside front cover of the book. Text adapted from the Missouri Department of Revenue Motorcycle Operator Manual. Typefaces: Blue Highway, French Cursive, and Cooper Black. The protective enclosure is an office envelope letterpress printed and fitted with a wrap around belly band featuring book title and press imprint.

Ellen Knudson: "This book is the revisit of a book created almost 12 years ago. The original book, 'How to Become One of the Original Wild Girls,' was designed and printed in 1997. That book is a playful list of imaginary rules that should be followed to achieve Wild Girl status. The rules are light-hearted, but they have the sting of recognition that most women realize to be sexist in nature. Wild Girls Redux reexamines these issues, using motorcycle road and driving rules as text along with images of pin up girls and industrial schematic illustrations. The tactile materials of the book include pink heart paper doilies, white doily place mats, flocked paper covers, and green office ledger papers. The intent of the Operator's Manual is tongue in cheek and provides the ordinary, mechanical, and absurd rules of how to operate women."

Wild Girls Redux: An Operator's Manual book
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A Strawberry in the Snow
By Leah Lintner Eisenbeis
Starkville, Mississippi: Crooked Letter Press, 2007. Edition of 75.

4.75 x 6.25"; 60 pages plus two 14.5 x 11" fold outs. Laid in a cloth-covered clamshell box with inset paper letterpress-printed title label on top board. Bound in red cloth with machine-stitched beige thread design, accomplished on the printer's Janome sewing machine. Endpapers with flowering strawberry plant illustration. Types are Bembo and Incognito. Letterpress printed (titles in red, poems in black) from photopolymer plates on Hahnemühle Biblio paper. Illustrations linocuts and photopolymer printed on Kitakata paper.

Sixteen poems, mostly from a young woman’s point of view. The two foldout sheets include email correspondence between the poet and artist-printer, two friends exchanging views on poetry, art, and life.

Ellen Knudson: "These poems by my friend, Leah Lintner Eisenbeis, were printed by me...because they are the truth. And the truth is miraculous."


A Strawberry in the Snow book
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How Swimming Saved My Life
By Ellen Knudson
Starkville, Mississippi: Crooked Letter Press, 2005. Edition of 45.

6.6 x 9.5", 12 pages with foldouts. Letterpress printed from metal type, linoleum reduction prints, photopolymer. Each copy contains an original gelatin plate monoprint and two multiple-color reductions printed from linoleum blocks. Pamphlet sewn binding with Indian Khadi paper cover. Printed on Somerset Book heavyweight paper.

A book about the saving grace of swimming. Knudson says: "When I swim, thoughts come and go, flowing like the water. How Swimming Saved My Life is a book about my experience of swimming as exercise and as a release from the stresses of life. My fury makes me a bad person and the one thing that saves me from being a monster is swimming. Water is one of the few places where I am graceful."

Artist’s Books Unshelved: Water is …
$135 (Last 2 copies)

How Swimming Saved My Life book
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Self Dual:
How to
Walk a 30,000 mile Tightrope
By Ellen Knudson
Starkville, Mississippi: Crooked Letter Press, 2005. Edition of 50.

4 x 6"; 40 pages. Two small books in one bound with a dos-a-dos style case binding covered in dyed Mingei paper and Iris bookcloth. Printed on cotton paper handmade from Knudson clothes. The text is handset in Lutetia metal types case by Harold Berliner. The illustrations are inspired by the landscape along the route between Starkville, Mississippi, and Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and are rendered using linoleum reduction and line drawings printed from photopolymer plates. Housed in a paper letterfold case.

During the three years while she was earning her MFA in Book Arts from the University of Alabama, Ellen Knudson each week left her young son and husband (who teaches at Mississippi State University) in Starkville and drove the 80+ miles on US 82 to Tuscaloosa – and each week she retraced her route, returning home to spend time with her family. The trip – her passage between her dual existences during this time, is here documented with expressive typography and images.

Ellen Knudson: "Dual is a mathematical term that means, if you have a geometric object such as a cube, you can draw another object inside it by joining the midpoints of the faces. The object is self-dual when the new interior object looks like the original, only rotated and smaller. Self dual suited the status of my life. The book is a collection of driving thoughts that occurred during the 30,000 miles I drove between Starkville and Tuscaloosa from 03 to 05."

$250 Standard copy
$385 Deluxe copy with 6 linocuts (two 15 x 5.75”, four 7.5 x 5.5”) in a quarter-cloth bound portfolio (15.75 x 6.5”) with paper-covered boards. Title and Queen Anne’s lace (?) silhouettes letterpressed on front board.

Self Dual:
How to Walk a 30,000 mile Tightrope book
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How to Love Someone Forever
By Ellen Knudson and Kevin Knudson
Starkville, Mississippi: Crooked Letter Press, 2004. Edition of 50.

6 x 8" with 34 pages and one fold-out. Letterpress printed from metal typeand photopolymer imagery from line drawings of weeds. Double pamphlet sewn, German lapped binding with handmade paste paper covers and cloth spine. Accompanied by a 8 x 17.75" broadside. Text handset using Goudy Old Style #394 and Caslon metal types. Printed on dampened Hahnemuhle Bugra papers in mint and marble gray. Paste paper covers handmade on mint Bugra.

A broadside, Valentine Sestina, accompanies this collection of poems written by Kevin and Ellen Knudson. The poems were written by the couple for one another and for their son. The illustrations by Ellen Knudson are line drawings of weeds and other plants that go unnoticed. The poetry is about the "every day" of relationships. The poems are about finding beauty in the "every day" actions that can be taken for granted and go unnoticed, much like weeds.


How to Love Someone Forever book
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Triumvirate: a ruling body of three people
The Sisters and the Houses They Inhabit

By Ellen Knudson
Starkville, Mississippi: Crooked Letter Press, 2004. Edition of 45.

6 x 8". Letterpress printed from metal type and photo polymer plate imagery from line drawings. French fold with pamphlet sewn binding. Illustrations are line drawings by Ellen Knudson. Printed on Hahnemuhle Bugra papers in chamois and brick.

This book about three sisters that rule is a statement by Ellen Knudson, the printer and artist, about her and her two sisters. It is about siblings and the figurative houses they inhabit. The term triumvirate means a ruling body of three people. Knudson considers the three sisters a force to be reckoned with.

Triumvirate book
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Crooked Letter press SOLD / Out of Print Titles:  

American Breeding Standards
By Ellen Knudson
Gainesville, Florida: Crooked Letter Press, 2013. Edition of 60.

5 x 8 x 1"; 72 pages. Images and text printed from photopolymer plates. Typefaces: Spectrum, Lutetia, and Spartan Bold Condensed. Line drawing form collaged images of horses and female models from fashion magazines. Letterpress printed on Zerkall Book. Cave Paper is also used (tapes and title flag). Hahnemühle Bugra is used as cover paper, lining, and end sheets/paste down. Exposed spine sewn on handmade paper tapes and attached to paste paper covered boards. The cover has hinged pop-up that folds out. The interior of the book contains three foldout pages. Slipcased.

This witty, pointed, and devastatingly clever book skewers our "post-feminist and enlightened" sense of superiority about how far we've come in climbing beyond the stereotypes of the ideal woman. There is more work to be done.

Ellen Knudson: "American Breeding Standards explores the systemized rules about what comprises a good and bad horse, a good or bad woman – and the steps one might take to achieve the breed standard."

Text excerpted from American Horses and Horse Breeding (John Dimon, 1895) and Canine Breeding Standards of the German Shepherd (American Kennel Club, 2012). Other text and illustrations by the artist.
(SOLD/Out of print)

American Breeding Standards  book
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Enough is Enough!
Print Exchange Organized by Ellen Knudson and Lisa Beth Robinson
Gainesville, Florida/Greenville, NC: Crooked Letter Press / Somnambulist Tango Press, 2018. Edition of 47.

11 x 14"; 23 single sheets (22 artist prints + colophon). Printed with various techniques including letterpress, linoleum cuts, screen printing. Housed in 11.5 x 14.5 x .5" blue paper portfolio with title on front cover. Each print signed and numbered by the artist.

Ellen Knudson: "A collaborative print exchange coordinated by Lisa Beth Robinson and Ellen Knudson. The impetus for the print exchange was the high school shooting in Parkland, Florida, in February 2018. The goal of the print exchange is to support the Everytown for Gun Safety group that fights for common sense gun safety and regulation of assault and military-style weapons. As artists, they are trying to do SOMETHING to help in what feels like helpless times."

Crooked Letter Press: "On February 14, 2018, a messed up kid went to his old high school in Parkland, FL, and shot a bunch of people, killing 17 students and teachers. He used an AR-15 semiautomatic assault weapon capable of shooting 30+ rounds per minute. Those rounds have the energy and velocity to decimate internal organs. He legally purchased the weapon.

"Easy access to assault weapons like these needs to stop.
"We all know the lists of tragedies.
"Enough is Enough — it’s way more than enough at this point.

"As artists and printers, we created this print exchange to visually address the issue of gun violence, the sale of assault weapons in the United States, and the devastation and fear the problem has brought upon the citizens of this country."
(SOLD/Out of Print)

Enough is Enough! book
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By Ellen Knudson
Gainesville, Florida: Crooked Letter Press, 2017. Edition of 35.

11.5 x 7.25" closed; 12 tri-paneled pages. Accordion fold structure. Letterpress printed on Okawara mulberry paper from woodcuts on baltic birch plywood, handset types, and photopolymer plates. Foil-stamped title on spine and label. Slipcase enclosure with foil-stamped label. Canson Ingres endsheets and pastedown. Dubletta and Duo book cloth on all enclosures. Designed, written, and printed by Ellen Knudson .

Deluxe edition includes a copy of the book and slipcase and a portfolio (12 x 14") of the prints from the book. Book and portfolio housed in a shelve-able bristol card wrapper.

Crooked Letter Press: "Intrusion is a modern bestiary that illustrates the conjured effects of human encroachment on nature and wildlife. These contemporary beasts are the amalgamation of animal bodies and environmental abuses - the illustrated outcomes of the human excesses of plastic bottles and bags, the unrestrained consumption of goods and the inordinate amount of garbage it creates, the imprudent disposal of decor and furniture, the overuse of water and the naive assumption that water is forever guaranteed, and the evolution of disease that is the consequence of carelessness.

"We might not be able to change what has been done, but we can act to prevent more deterioration of our environment. The viruses are going to keep growing; the ocean is going to keep coming. They don't care. It's our own lives we save — or not.

"Text from various online sources as cited and credited to each author. Other text written by the artist. ... Poetic verses on the reverse side are written by the artist's son, Gus. Accordion binding by the artist with helpful conversations from Anna Embree {[University of Alabama]."
(SOLD/Out of Print)

Intrusion book
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Safety is Not Promised
By Ellen Knudson
Gainesville, Florida: Crooked Letter Press, 2018. Edition of 90 (30 available).

4.5 x 4.5" closed, opens to 14 x 9"; one sheet book. Accordion structure. In custom cloth-covered slipcase. Signed and numbered by the artist.

Colophon: "This is a print. This is a book. Printed in Gainesville, Florida, after the massacre at Stoneman Douglas High School. We cannot keep living like this — in fear and in fear-mongering. This piece is part of the 'Enough is Enough' print exchange to support Everytown for Gun Safety."

Proceeds to benefit Everytown for Gun Safety.
(SOLD/Out of Print)

Safety is Not Promised book
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Page last update: 11.20.2023


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