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This project is inspired by the loosely formed collective of Edna Beilenson, Evelyn Harter and Beatrice Ward who came together in 1937 to produce what Book Historian Kathleen Walkup describes as ‘pot-luck’ bookworks. The three women collaborated to make books ‘on the Distaff Side’. Their original content was ‘by and for women on the subject of women in print’ (Natural Enemies of Books, p26). 
Edna Beilenson was an American typographer, fine press printer, typesetter, book designer, cook book author, publisher, and co-proprietor of the Peter Pauper Press. 
Evelyn Harter was was primarily a typographer and book designer and worked for publishers such as Cape and Smith and Random House. She published her first novel, Rd. Katherine Bell in 1950 and along with Beatrice Warde, contributed the to the 1951 publication ‘Treasury for Typophiles’.
Beatrice Warde was typographer, writer, and art historian. She worked as a marketing manager for the British Monotype Corporation. Her essay, The Crystal Goblet was influential on tastes in printing and variations of her ‘This is a Printing Office’ broadside adorn many a print workshop to this day. She did not actually contribute to the original Pot-Luck book but her involvement gave it gravitas and credence.
We, as the team behind Bristol Editions, have produced the first, of what will be a new series of Pot Luck books with a contemporary focus on the same theme.

Messy Woman: Text
Messy Woman: Image


The original works were notable in their time as they were produced for women, by women. They also offered no contents page, index or list of contributors. The title page had no author, editor or publisher listed. We will consider this within a 21st Century context as we produce the work.
They were bound collations of separate signatures. The majority were French fold and printed on one side only. Each contributor produced a signature with their individual choice of papers, typography and design. The first Pot-Luck book was ‘Bookmaking on the Distaff Side’ and served as the starting point for our own collaboration. Unique paste paper covers by Delight Rushmore adorned the original and we have emulated this in our edition.

Messy Woman: Text
Messy Woman: Image


We propose to create a new series of Pot-luck books with a modern day focus on the same theme. 

The next theme will be loosely based on borders and ornaments. 

Do not delay,  sign up now to take part in the next Potluck book!




Send to:

To buy a riso copy of Issue 1, limited to an edition of 40 copies, please send £7.50, this includes postage to mainland UK, to  Please include your name and postal address. Please contact us for international postage rates.

Messy Woman: Text


Find out more about issue one, and how we were inspired to start this project.

Messy Woman: Video
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