Nic focuses his heart in two directions . . . toward our Thunderwing Press endeavors, and his students at the School of Visual Arts, where he is a professor of graphic design and typography. As a gift to his Senior Portfolio class, he created hand-crafted, lettepressed keepsakes, to hopefully inspire, and show his appreciation for all the heartfelt work they create. Here is Professor Taylor's description of the gift . . .
The goal of any educator should be: To empower young people – not just to teach subjects and material – to teach ways of thinking, modes of conduct and to convey an enthusiasm for living and a high standard of aspiration.
During my own on-going education, I came across A Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi. Musashi is known for many things; he was a skilled craftsman, painter and calligrapher, sculptor, writer and strategist, but he is best known as the undefeated samurai. Engaging in over 60 contests for his life, he was never once harmed. He survived 6 wars, and is famous for having defeated multiple opponents simultaneously. During his final years, at age 63, he retired to a mountain cave, where he wrote his book. He describes it as "a guide for men who want to learn strategy."
Among the countless pieces of wisdom found in this book, I came across a list dealing with honor and conduct. The page with this list has remained dog-eared for years, and I have finally transposed the list into a gift for my students.
I remained 85-90% faithful to the original words, but made changes, hybrids, and edits where I felt necessary. The product is a small, thick card in 100% cotton paper, painted with a jet black edge, then letterpressed in hand-set lead type; the old-fashioned way in 10 point Garamond. The card is angularly wrapped in hand-made Nepalese Lokta paper, and sealed with Chinese black paper twine.