Heavy Duty Press
~ Wisconsin
(Michael Koppa)

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Mike Koppa: “My collages are driven by intuition. Born with a nostalgic heart, I am attracted to commercially printed images, often predating the information age. Through free association amidst a patiently and thoughtfully selected library of source material, I stumble upon surprising relationships and juxtapositions, which may mean something or nothing, but always satisfy my craving for amusement. Art is the relationship of things in a space, and collage is the art of surprise.”
   
Thawt
By Mike Koppa, Nikki Soppelsa, Bill Phillips, Flore Kunst, Susan Legind, Helene de Winter, Gary Ortman, Brandon Graham, Lisa Chun, Sammy Slabbinck, Filipa Sottomayor, Barbara Minch
Viroqua, Wisconsin: Heavy Duty Press, 2014. Edition of 40.

7.125 x 9.75"; 212 pages. Digitally printed on 80 lb. acid-free paper. Email correspondence set in Calibri. Poems, prose, and transcribed letter set in Century Schoolbook. Journal entries set in Courier. Case-bound with printed end sheets. Illustrated dust jacket collage by Nikki Soppelsa. Photography by Mike Koppa. Signed and numbered. Laid in a signed photograph by Mike Koppa.

Heavy Duty Press: "Thawt: noun, A period of simultaneous reflection and new growth following a freeze or hibernation, generally occurring between mid-February and mid-April in the northern hemisphere. His productive year began with a good thawt.

"
Thawt: book, A chronological collage of content, telling the story of a 60-day collaboration, between Mike Koppa and eleven artists and friends from around the world, during the thawing months of 2013. Thawt is a book about creativity, spontaneity, impulse, and action. The narrative is largely told through the correspondence between the contributing artists and the designer/publisher, interspersed with contributed prose, poetry, photography, and collage.

"Contributors include (in order of appearance): Nikki Soppelsa (U.S.A.), Bill Phillips (U.S.A.), Flore Kunst (France), Susan Legind (Italy), Helene de Winter (The Netherlands), Gary Ortman (U.S.A.), Brandon Graham (U.S.A.), Lisa Chun (U.S.A.), Sammy Slabbinck (Belgium), Filipa Sottomayor (Portugal), and Barbara Minch (U.S.A.).”


Michael Koppa: “A small group of collage artists I met through Facebook each received a series of photographs and an invitation to respond to them. I promised that if I received enough response from this spontaneous act to take the project further, it might become a book. Ultimately, I was able to enlist a handful of collagists from around the world, a few friends I had met through the internet in the days preceding my engagement with Facebook, and one friend from the earliest book-making ventures of this enterprise in 1996, to participate in the thawing of my frozen world – my world of isolation.”
$375

 

 

 

 

 


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Treehugger
By Michael Koppa
Viroqua, Wisconsin: 2006. Edition of 10.

48 page spiral bound book. Includes five perforated postcards with four-color digitally printed, computer-assisted, original collages on the front, and personal notations and observations by the artist on the reverse side. Afterword by Koppa's neighbor Jack Rath. Includes log documenting the evolution of the book.

Heavy Duty Press: "A book about trees - from hugging them to identifying them, to cutting them down and burning them up."

Michael Koppa: "In August 2001, we purchased four acres of hillside land in Southwest Wisconsin. An enormous red elm stood as the centerpiece, shading a well-groomed hillside. The tree dropped all of its leaves the following July, and they never came back. It remained incredible as it slowly shed its bark and dropped a few dangerous limbs. Eventually, the thrill of marveling at it turned to fear. We brought in a sawyer to top it in January 2004. What a mess. A heavy duty mess. So we organized it. A tornado tore through the hollow in August 2005, snapping two and a half stately shagbark hickories. With the help of family and friends we gathered the wood to a central location and split it. The three trees will be heating our house well into 2008. I love those trees. They were great. This book serves both as a memorial to those trees and as a personal journal."

Filbert Roth: "The man who has a piece of woodland where during the winter months he cuts firewood and fencing, and a few logs for the repair and building of improvements, and during certain years when prices are high cut some logs for the neighboring sawmill, but at the same time looks after the piece of woods, clears it of dead timber and other rubbish, thus keeping out fire and insects, and otherwise makes an effort to keep his land covered with forest - such a man practices forestry. His forest may be small or large, his way of doing things may be simple and imperfect, the trees may not be of the best kind for the particular locality or soil, they may not be as thrifty as they should and could be: but nevertheless here is a man who does not merely destroy the woods nor content himself with cutting down whatever he can sell, but one who cares for the woods as well as sees them, one who sows as well as harvests. He is a forester, and his work in the woods is forestry."
$175

 

 



   


Becoming Flight
By Paul Zarzyski
St. Francis, Wisconsin: 2004, Heavy Duty Press. Edition of 125.

240 x 130cm, with 92 pages. Printed with black, sky blue, and grass green inks. Poems and illustrations are printed, with minimal impression, on Classic Crest 80 lb super Smooth Text Paper. Six tabular throw-out pages of Hahnemüle Bugra envelope the poems and sort the illustrations. Pages from a commercially printed, middle-twentieth-century bird atlas function as flysheets, making each copy of the book unique, as well as unifying the edition. Pages are hand-bound with an exposed and handsome coptic stitch, between Spanish blue Leatherflex covers, and dressed in a bone-white jacket. Signed by both the poet and the press.

The book features five bird-related poems by Paul Zarzyski: Linguistics; Vischio; Bizarzaki - Mad Bard and Carpenter Savant of Manchester, Montana - Feeds the Finicky Birds; Vigil; and, Birds in the Stove. Sixteen illustrations by Milwaukee resident and non-wildlife bird painter Tom Stack complement Paul's poems through the book. A foreword by Northwoods Wisconsin writer, editor, and teacher Gennie Nord preludes the Heavy Duty Guide to Ornithology.
$300

 

 

   
   

Is Our Children Learning?
Michael Koppa
Liberty, Wisconsin: Heavy Duty Press, 2004. Edition of 500 (250).

5.5 x 4.8" CD and pamphlet in standard CD jewel case. Letterpress printed jewel case insert and tray card designed by Koppa. Printed and bound by Sylvania Lark. Limited, signed and numbered edition of five hundred copies (but ended up only 250). Pamphlet: 4.6 x 4.6"; 16 pages. Linotype-set Century Schoolbook. Printed on European Hemp paper. Hand-stitched within a hand-set, asymmetrically designed, two-color-cover. Printed with moderate impression on 300 gsm Hahnemühle Copperplate.

Tray Card: Combines Linotype and hand-set type. Letterpress printed with two-colors on Classic Crest Super Smooth.

CD: 38 minute recording of music by Sylvania Lark. Mike Koppa, Heavy Duty Press proprietor, plays guitar and sings eight songs, privately recorded and produced. Signed & numbered. Recorded and produced by Sylvania Lark for Mello-Crisp Records at Lunik in Milwaukee and Heavy Duty Acres in Liberty, Wisconsin, in 2003.

Songlist

Again, written by Sylvania Lark
Enterprise, written by Sylvania Lark
Blue Moon Revisited (Song for Elvis), written by Michael and Margo Timmins
Fever, written by Eddie Cooley and John Davenport
Is it real? written by Sylvania Lark
In the Garden, poetry by Emily Dickinson, music by Sylvania Lark
The Juncos, written by Sylvania Lark
Little Ol' Winedrinker Me, written by Hank Mills and Dick Jennings

Players

Beth Bartos (voice); Vicki Hoffmann (piano and voice); Kev Koch (drums, percussion, voice); Katrina Koppa (voice); Mike Koppa (guitar, voice, keyboard, piano, percussion); Mike Lappen (saxophone, guitar); Glenn Maloney (bass); Gayle Schmidt (flute); Dave Shrank (drum); John Szatkowski (piano, organ, accordian); Dan S. Wang (guitar)

A collaborative project of Sylvania Lark and Michael Koppa. The project produced a full length debut CD from Sylvania Lark which included a collection of eight songs. Four are originals from Mike Koppa.

Heavy Duty Press: "Highlights include Enterprise, inspired by a woodpecker and the birth of a precious new life; the single, In the Garden, a melancholic interpretation of Emily Dickinson's poetry; and Fever, a rough-edged, slightly agonized version of Peggy Lee's sensual classic."

Michael Koppa: "I've always wanted to make a record of my songs so I asked a couple friends to do it with me (because I couldn't do it without their company or their equipment) and we made this record. Good times."
$25

 

 

 

 


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Native Son at Home
Six sequential poems
By David Steingass
2000. Edition of 100.

24.5 x 16 cm; 56 pages. Letterpress printed in five ink colors on five colors of Hahnemuhle paper from Century Old style and members of the News Gothic type family. (Of historical note: These types were designed by Milwaukeean Morris Fuller Benton, who crafted 221 typefaces for American Type Founders between 1896 and 1937. Heavy Duty Press acquired a share of the original ATF fonts from letterpress preservationist Fritz Klinke.) Includes ten illustrations printed from zinc engravings.

Taken from the eleven "guidebook" sections of his saga Great Plains: A Prairie Love Song. An exceptionally well-printed, well-presented poem and a book successful in its visual representation and interpretation of the text. Steingass' language-vivid, rhythmic, subtly jazzy, alive with desire-crystallizes this tale of a man resurrecting a sense of self and place. With virtually no punctuation, he relies on line breaks and placement to cue the reading. He creates visual impact with long lines and hung lines that together range across the page creating texture out of text. The publisher's illustrative choices include unusually set and intermittent page numbers and repeated border and typographic elements that augment and anchor the simple line drawings at each section head.

A first handmade, letterpress-printed, limited edition from this "industrious" press. Handsomely composed, printerly edition.
$300

 


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Sold titles by Michael Koppa:  
   

Alchemy
By Michael Koppa

16 pages printed with black and gold ink using the simple 3 hole pamphlet stitch.

This is the first concept book from Heavy Duty Press. The idea presented itself moments before dumping a case of worn-out and dirty 14-point Spartan in the hell box. The text was completely improvised in the composing room with the single goal of setting every last lead soldier in the case on his feet and printing a book with the entire army before turning it into the scrap yard for the current rate of 19 cents per pound. Useless engravings from the collection adorn each page. A challenge to read, it is about making the most out of junk.

For all typophiles.
(SOLD)

 



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Page last update: 05.17.17

 

   
  
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