A year ago, at a windy roadside stop in South Dakota with a couple flickering bars of reception, I checked my email. There was a message from the manager of a gallery in downtown Seattle, whom I’d met at a couple openings. She was wondering whether I wanted to join next year? I gasped and rubbed the sand out of my eyes, read it again. [Read more…]
I spent the last two and half weeks printing up a storm in the Wells Book Arts Center, at Wells College in Aurora NY. I camped out in the new press room with five Vandercooks, reams of Mohawk Superfine, a 3lb can of black ink, and tunes, snacks, and a water bottle. On my cross country drive to New York, I thought a lot about partial/broken letterforms, watching paint peel away on many a weathered building across the western mountains and midwestern plains. Plenty of thinking time. No books, I decided. Too much work. I knew wanted to make things bigger, like the signs I’ve recently done, but vaguely thought no, no, I’ll be printing of course. And I thought, I’d like to work with those forms in print. But can’t break the type. Cut the paper? I just really wanted to build, not break. [Read more…]
It’s a simple practice. Write three pages, first thing every morning, longhand. Extolled far and wide, Julia Cameron’s initial assignment in The Artists Way is nearly cliché now. I am a great skeptic, and I could only approach this practice as an experiment after a mighty effort to suspend my disbelief. Yet here I am to tell you that it changed my life. The story’s been told many times, and it’s a true story!
Last spring in an interview about my journey from college to owning my own shop, I was asked if I had any advice for people just getting out of school. Advice about how to get to where I’m at, which is apparently, “living the dream.” Ha! Well if the dream is working 24/7, I have arrived. How did I get here? I did the work imagine it. The thing is, to live a dream you have to have one. You have to care enough and be curious enough to ask yourself over and over again what it is you want. The morning pages are an incredibly powerful tool for me in this regard. [Read more…]
The steel book saga continues! We’ve arrived at the cover treatment, which consisted of etching the cover art into the steel and then applying a rusted patina. There’s plenty of info online about etching solutions for copper and zinc, but not so much for steel as it isn’t used in traditional printmaking. When researching less-toxic solutions I came across the Edinburgh Etch and the Saline Sulfate Etch (what we’re doing here). I was skeptical at best, and I had a hard time locating copper sulfate. Then one day [Read more…]
I first came across this binding structure in the Penland Book of Handmade Books with their showcase of Eileen Wallace’s work. I was immediately inspired by her metal books and the broad range of cover materials she incorporates so seamlessly. Years later when I received a commission for steel books I thought of Eileen’s work and knew it was possible. 18 months and many prototypes and doubt-filled days later, I came up with something that works. Quite well, in fact. This blog post outlines the process I used, and the photos are from the final working prototype.
But first I need to say a huge thank you to Eileen Wallace. After consulting [Read more…]