Prayers from the Ark Prayers from the Ark

Prayers From the Ark and the Creatures’ Choir

Carmen Bernos de Gasztold

Translated by Rumer Godden
Illustrations/calligraphy by Carla Tenret
Quelquefois Press & 10 Ray Press, 2020

From the colophon:
Handset and printed by 10 Ray Press (Carla Tenret) at Quelquefois Press. Printed on Somerset Book paper, using Spectrum, Dante, and Sabon Antiqua type. Illustrations and calligraphy by Carla Tenret, printed from polymer plates. Thanks to Lisa Rappoport, Dean Robino, and above all, Mary Laird. Sewn board binding using four needles, linen thread, and oak-grained lignin-free board. This book was created in an atmosphere of friendship, hilarity, and great pleasure. In an edition of 60.

Making the book
Imagine Mary Laird’s workshop-studio-printery: Quelquefois Press. An old one car garage, well lit, turned studio. A Universal I Vandercook, lots of spider webs, an enormous mirror for Feng Shui, and a work table resting atop forty drawers of type. Tools, books and a few Book Presses for binding. An air purifier, twinkling Christmas lights year ‘round, and garage doors with some windows to look out onto the world passing by.

Over the course of four years, I (Carla) set, proofed, corrected, and all of that, all over again. And again. Dean and Mary would proof and weigh in. I prepared multiple dummies. Lisa Rappoport laid out the illustrations and calligraphy in InDesign, brilliantly cramming all the domestic and wildlife onto a few large plates of polymer, which we scissored apart.

I used Spectrum, Dante, and Sabon Antiqua type faces. Lisa had recommended Takach in Albuquerque, for paper, mentioning the merits of Somerset Book. It was a fit ! A paper new to us, but one which printed like a dream. So, what to print first? The illustrations were large and decided the format of the book. Much thought was given to the placement on the page and sometimes placement on multiple pages. Mary had a lovely red-brown mixed ink, which we decided would be the base color for all the illustrations in the book. For text we added black. And then, more black to it for the title page. It was interesting to work with the placement of the text relationship to the illustration. And later, the initial drop cap. All told, all totaled, each page had four runs of color.

Speaking of covers. We decided the covers had to have a wood grain. It’s an Ark, after all! Then we had to choose whether the grain should be drawn, stenciled or anything else. The two-former failed. Mary found the final solution. Two oak boards from MacBeath Hardwood. Voila! The covers were born! We printed the grain on Elephant Hide paper from Talas, and adhered it to lig-free twenty-point boards from University Products. The three of us had a wonderful time creating this book. We had to stop getting together at the beginning of the Corona Virus Pandemic, so Mary collated and bound most of the books. However, I got to sign the books and number them. — Carla Tenret


10 ¼ x 4 ¼ x 5/8 inches



No. of Pages



$350 | Please add 10.25% tax if living in California :: Shipping insured, Gratis


Bookbinding, Letterpress