Art + Design

Like a Bucket Brigade Only Better

When you work all day with a keyboard or a pencil or a pen, where only your fingers and your eyeballs and your brain are moving and the rest of you is sitting in a chair like a slug (if slugs sat in chairs), there is something incredibly pleasing about getting up from your desk and going and making something with your hands. And for geeky book people, could there be any better things to make than books? Because that’s sort of exactly what a few of us got to do yesterday, when we gathered to assemble the On Tender Hooks Limited Edition. It was manual labor of the kind that is great fun—where you get to watch something beautiful come together under your own hands.

Each limited edition is made up of many bits. Not only is there the signed-and-numbered print, the signed-and-numbered book, and the luscious-looking clamshell box, there’s the archival envelope the print lives inside of, the numbered colophon sheet (kind of like a Franklin Mint certificate of authenticity), the protective cardboard carton, and two different stickers that go on the outside of the carton. And because all these things were coming from different places—places as far ranging as the printer in Hong Kong; artist Isabel Samaras’s painting studio in Albany, California, where she signed all the books; and Urban Digital Color just around the corner from here where they made the (gorgeous!) fine art prints—it made the most sense to put them all together here in our office.

So here’s my little photo essay about that process, which I hope others enjoy as much as I do. But hey, if you’re more of a retail-therapy enjoyment kind of person, you can skip the photos and go here to buy the limited edition (pre-publication price of $150 ends May 1, regular price is $250), here to buy the regular On Tender Hooks book, or here to buy the postcard set of Isabel’s work. I promise I won’t mind.

Bagging the prints


Clamshells and protective cartons at the ready




The colophon sheet and outer-box stickers (ok, ok, the kitchen knives are a little scary—we used them to open the big boxes everything came in. We were very careful).


Assembly underway


All the bits, in action


Isabel has an awesome signature


I love that even this informative sticker matches the book design


More than halfway done!


Safe and protected


Bridget Watson Payne
Assistant Editor, Art + Design

Bridget Watson Payne

Senior Editor, Art Publishing. You can follow her at @WatsonPayne and read about her latest projects at

Latest posts by Bridget Watson Payne (see all)

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Linkedin
Share On Pinterest
Contact us


1 Comment

  • Michelle Dunn Marsh April 27, 2009 at 10:52 pm

    i was truly honored to be a part of the process of bringing this limited edition loveliness into being. Each piece is wonderful (book, clamshell and of course, print) but the totality is extraordinary. And while I own very little that is not photo-based, I am thrilled to add this to my collection! Thank you Isabel for working with us on this and thank you Bridget for being patient, good humored, and tenacious, all of which is required to bring these things into being!


Leave a Comment