We woke up this morning to a huge thunder and lightning storm. It went right over our heads for about an hour. Then the rest of the day was muggy! It was hard to focus up on the fourth floor in the heat. Steidl put a portable air cooler in the library area which helped a lot.
We had our last meeting with Victor to go over what still needed to be delivered by us. One more edit of text is all that’s allowed before the book goes to press. He’ll finalize the design and place the photos and portfolio plates. They are closed during the month of August as is the custom in Europe. It looks like we will be returning for the press run after that. Date to be determined.
We had our last meeting with Steidl at about 7pm to discuss the schedule. He said he was pleased with the book and he said that HE would buy it! So with that we said goodbye. Steidl called a taxi for us and helped us load our luggage and paid the taxi driver. The last we saw of Steidl was him with a big smile on his face! What a memory to take with us!
We had planned to go to Belgium but instead we decided to stay another day in Gottingen as we hadn’t had a chance to see much of this wonderful city. We stayed at Gebhard’s Hotel near the edge of the city and close to the train station. We had a wonderful time exploring the old city. It was still hot and we learned that much of Europe was experiencing a record heat wave.
Since this is that last day of our Steidl adventure for now, we’ll leave you here and take this blog up again when we go to press. If you’re interested in the rest of our current trip you can follow us on facebook. Thanks for traveling along with us on this incredible adventure! To be continued. . .
It was Ken’s Birthday today and we did celebrate it! But it’s just another day in Steidlville so we spent the day working on making edits to the new layout. It’s a different looking book but a great improvement we think. It is all an amazing whirlwind of activity. There are still 3 teams in various phases of getting their books finished. We are all working together in the top floor of the building.
We jockey for working space, time with the designers, and try to figure out if we have any time to run an errand. We are all expected to be here so that when any of the production or printing staff needs us we are available. It is necessary because we are usually only here for a week at a time and it has to run on schedule as the Germans are so great at doing. And then there are the Lagerfield or Chanel jobs that come in and take precedent over all of us, as they pay the bills!
Our friendships with the other teams are multiplying. We met a new person today–Robert Polidori http://www.robertpolidori.com/ and his wife and daughter. We went out to dinner for Ken’s birthday to Gephard’s Restaurant and Hotel and as soon as we sat down, we recognized Robert from meeting him at Steidl today. They are really fun! They insisted that we join them at their table and we’re so glad we did! We had a long and rich conversation. Afterwards we ran into Lunetta at the ATM and then we walked home together. She was on her way back to work on her project.
It’s been super hot here, in the upper 90s. The trains were affected and running an hour late (they are never late!), and the worst thing was that the press was down. The big print runs for Chanel, Fendi and Lagerfeld were stopped! And then of course Lunetta and Josh’s book was stopped! Steidl and the printing crew were still there when we came back from dinner at around 10 last night. We don’t know yet how late they were up working.
Today, unbelievably, is our last day of work. We have to get all the photos placed before we go. It will be sad to leave this dear place.
We are constantly stopping to appreciate the quality of German engineering. Just looking at the windows, the way they can open two ways. It’s ingenious! We could go on and on. We will add more about that later! Gotta go!
Hi Friends! thank you for all your sweet messages of encouragement. We love hearing from you!
We keep waking up and pinching ourselves and realizing how amazing it is that we’re here. It’s Ken’s birthday today and he woke up staying in the rooms that Gunter Grass–Nobel prize winner for literature–used to stay in when he came to Steidl. He just passed away last month. He was a very dear friend of Steidl.
We had a long day yesterday working on text and photo sequencing. Got back at about 11. We worked 14 hours straight. We didn’t have much time to take photos but we’re including a few.
The reason there’s a chef here is that people just work non-stop and they get calls all throughout the day when they have to come to do a press check or work out the on-going details with the designers working along-side Steidl. Steidl oversees everything and is attentive to every nuance of each project. His generosity is present in all things here from the rooms provided, the lunches, constant water and every comfort, all to facilitate the work. We’re nourished by this and feel so humbled and happy to be part of this.
A little tid-bit of serendipity is that Anna Mia Davidson, the daughter of Bruce Davidson (Magnum photographer), is here working on a new book of her photos of Cuba. We got a message from our dear niece Holly that she can’t believe we’re here with Anna! It turns out they were housemates for many years in Seattle! Wow!
Must get going to deliver the text to Victor! Bye for now. And much Love!
Yesterday was a full day. . . of waiting! There are four teams competing for the time of the designers so we have to take turns. It’s interesting to hear the other teams talking to the designers about their book projects, and we’re learning so much, but hey, let’s be honest, we keep waiting for our turn! It’s like we’re happy for them and all but what about us!? Haha!
Rudi served us another amazing lunch and we got to talk more with Anna, Josh and Lunetta who are all great! Dianne and Pierre left yesterday. Listening to them all talk is so interesting. The drive and commitment they all share for their projects and for art is infectious. Josh and Lunetta are working on a book about Santu Mofokeng, the photographer from South Africa. Anna is working on a book of photos from Cuba.
We finally met with Victor at 5:00 and he showed us all the work he’d been doing during the day flowing the text and pictures into the new specs and we can envison the book emerging in its new design. It’s new for us and exciting after working on it in the current design for 13 years! We like it! The text will need to be edited down here and there to fit the new column widths and this will have to be done soon. Steidl flew to Paris today for something with Lagerfeld but he’ll be back tonight.
We went out for dinner to a restaurant recommended by Josh called Zum Szultenburger on Prinzenstrasse on the other side of the main square. At one point we got a little lost so when we stopped in the apothecary to buy a few things, we asked a lady for directions. Her English was pretty good and she was friendly so she told us a few stories about the city––such as the girl with a goose in the fountain of the main square. Since this is a university town, all the people who graduate with their doctorates have to kiss this girl in the fountain. She is believed to be the most kissed girl in the world. The goose is to warn her of danger. There are flowers hanging all over the fountain from recent graduates. We love this city!
While we waited for an outside table at Zum Szultenburger the waiter served us schnapps and beer! I had the huntsman’s dinner. Ken had schnitzel with peppers and onions. The portions of schnitzel were enormous! Another waiter came to talk to us during his break about his interest in Civil War history and he and Ken conversed for a while until the head waiter gave him the sign to get back to work. But before he left he gave us each a ferne brancha! I’m not used to so much alcohol! Luckily we didn’t have to drive home! But you just have to watch out for all the people on bicycles cuz you can’t hear them coming up behind you!
It’s now early in the morning…the sky is getting light and I can’t sleep. I’m way too excited about how the day will go since Steidl is back today and will undoubtedly take us all forward.