About

Transient

                   Est. 1979       Proprietors                 Karen Krantz Willman & Tom Willman

At the end of the 1970's, an age of communication was ending. The computer was coming, and movable type and the letterpress were vanishing from newspapers and print shops, To my husband and me, it represented an affordable creative opportunity. We rescued two old presses, type and accoutrements and established a "small press," which was soon producing our first cards and small prints. With the arrival of our sons the imprint of Counterpane Press was born. If you know Robert Louis Stevenson's delightful volume, "A Child's Garden of Verses," you will understand why we chose the name and image for Counterpane Press. It represents a place where imagination begins: the counterpane -- the bedspread, the blankets, the playground for the child who is sick and must stay in bed. (Yes, we took artistic license with the direction in which the pennants are fluttering. One of us has wanted to change that for a long time, but I won't let him.)

Over the years the Counterpane imprint has marked a variety of creations -- cards, prints, small handmade books, items of baseball history and ephemera.  My "Lingonberries" line of items in Scandinavian-inspired designs, is the latest of those. The Counterpane association, paired with the rich Scandinavian tradition of the folk arts, reminds us of the importance of imagination in everyday life.

But of course children need no reminders, and how well Stevenson understood that. Writing in 1885, he captured the innocent freedom of a child's imaginings.....

The Land of Counterpane

       Robert Louis Stevenson

When I was sick and lay-a-bed,
I had two pillows at my head.
And all my toys beside me lay
To keep me happy all the day.

And sometimes for an hour or so,
I watched my leaden soldiers go,
With different uniforms and drillls,
Among the bedclothes, through the hills:

And sometimes sent my ships in fleets
All up and down among the sheets:
Or brought my trees and houses out,
And planted cities all about.

I was the giant great and still
That sits upon the pillow-hill
And sees before him dale and plain,
The pleasant land of counterpane.