In 2010, Maralyn Crosetto of Waterland Press and Maura Shapley and Jack LeNoir of Day Moon Press embarked on a joint venture to produce Maralyn Crosetto’s Italian Villa Advent Calendar. The first copies were completed in March, 2011, and are currently available through Wessel and Lieberman Booksellers.

The calendar features an image of the Tuscan villa Cetinale printed in seven colors from an engraving and five hand-cut linoleum blocks, with hand-set gold numbers and borders. Twenty-four die cut windows reveal reproductions of Italian-themed miniature watercolors, with glitter details.

Planning and production process

Planning began in the Fall of 2009, when Maralyn and Maura determined the optimum press size and paper usage for the calendar. In February of 2010, Maralyn did the preliminary sketch to block out the windows and proportions; the master pencil drawing was completed a month later, and scanned by Jack. After conversion in Photoshop, a section was engraved, and tests were done on various papers. Arches Platine was selected for the front panel.

Once the full-size engraving was made, a mylar proof was pulled on the press, which became the key for the five linoleum blocks that were cut by Maralyn. A makeready set was also pulled, to use in registering the color blocks, since the master engraving had to be printed last. After the engraving was printed, the numbers for the windows and the metallic border were added. The printing process took until February of 2011.

At the same time, Maralyn was painting the watercolors for the back panel. These were scanned and placed in a Photoshop file containing the preliminary sketch and the engraving master, to register to the windows. The watercolors were completed in October of 2010, and Maralyn began printing the back panel on Arches watercolor paper on an Epson Stylus Pro 6900 using Ultrachrome inks. She then hand applied glitter to selected images.

Once the first sheets were done, final positioning for the numbers and windows was established. The front panel windows were then diecut from a hand-locked-up form created by Jack.

The label for the box top was printed on paper inherited from Frank McCaffrey, using hand-set type and a linoleum reduction cut in two colors. The interior tissue was also from Frank’s studio. The same reduction cut was used for the insert, and the text was printed offset.

Maura glued the calendars, and after trimming, the final spots of glitter were added by Maralyn. Then Maura did the final gluing and assembly of the boxes, which were fabricated in Ballard, WA.

The first calendars were published in March of 2011.