Artist Book

Current Projects

One of the only good things that has resulted from the delay in starting on my thesis project is having “lots” of spare time to complete other unfinished book projects. I thought I would do a little show-and-tell of my desk to explain some of the books that I am currently working on.

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This is what my desk looks like on a clean day. I do usually have all of these different projects hanging out, although they will get shuffled around a lot.

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Starting in the corner is The Mansion. This book is from last fall semester, so I had my final on it in December last year. I am making good progress. I only have one more book that needs cover paper attached, followed by linings on the inside of the covers, and casing in the textblock. Hopefully it will be done by the middle of September. Just below that is a full leather binding that I am working on. This is an independent project to keep up some of my skills. I finished the endbands earlier this week, and should have the boards attached in the next week or two. That will just leave the leather and a few little steps.

The paper below that in a miniature book that I printed during the spring. I have some issues and still need to complete some design work and printing. This specific book still have a long way before the edition is complete. Along the wall at the top is my Peru mini book about textiles. I am mostly done with this edition, and just need to do some trimming to attach covers and make spine pieces. Should be done before school starts.

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The pile in the middle of the cutting mat is the Petra mini book. These are copies that still need to be sewn. I have about 40 copies sewn, just under the recycle sign. These still have lots of steps, but should be done by the end of September or earlier. The large pile in the center of white books and the two in the press are the generations book. These are rather old (since Spring 2012) drumleaf bindings. I only need to attach the spine pieces, attach the cover paper, and tip the pages, so I am planning on completing these by September as well. The small grey pile is a slip case mockup for the four mini books that I have made. This is more of a side project, but I would like to make the 20 or so slipcases by December.

And the pile of black and green books is my repair pile. These are mostly projects that I am working on for my dad. I am planning on making a new leather case for the top one. The spine has been cleaned, but I can’t decide if it needs to be resewn. The middle book is one of my Book of Mormon copies and just needs a simple repair on the front cover where the spine and board have slit. And the bottom book needs lots of help. It got wet and has some mold issues, so I need to clean the pages and make a new cloth case for it.

So those are some of the projects that I am currently working on. It is good to get some things finished, but hopefully I will have thesis news to report soon and be able to start on that project. Until next time, enjoy.

Printing: Bits and Pieces

As part of Printing II, we only had two assignments for the year. The first was the miniature book I will post about soon, and the second was a chapbook. Traditionally, chapbooks were a pocket size pamphlet that could include poetry, nursery rhymes, folktales, almanacs, etc.  Today, chapbooks are publications, usually of poetry, that are up to 40 pages in length and can be low budget or high end limited editions. So, we essentially needed to produce a short book (no more than 12 pages, although some people bent to rules). (And please excuse the bad photographs. We have terrible natural lighting, and my camera was acting funny).
Here are my classmates work that they produced. One of them is missing because he has a printing company with a partner and was not able to exchange books with everyone. I loved the variety of themes, bindings and overall differences between everyone’s work. In clockwise order from the top left are: Mo Fiorella’s Secrecy of Red-Skinned Fruit, with poems by A.G. Moore, and flatback case binding, and beautiful red and pink dip-dyed endsheets; Kate Kotan’s Whale Fall about the life cycle of a whale after it dies in a drumleaf binding and wonderful illustrations; Laura Rowley’s traverse, a great little accordion binding about the different definitions to the word “traverse”; and Ashley Gorham’s To Have in a Hold, a beautiful personal story in poetry about her relationship with her husband in a double pamphlet binding. I loved all of these books, and I really makes me want to push myself more to create more interesting and beautiful works.

I choose to explore how traditions, interests, and personalities are transmitted through generations. This exploration is presented through illustrations representing the five generations of women that were alive when I was born. I found the imagery of genealogy charts interesting and used that as my framework on each page. The dates of each woman is the year that they were married, and there are themes that carry through each generation.
Title page
The images and framework is letterpress printed using a vandercook press, and I then watercolor-ed all of the color. It is a drumleaf binding, and it has paste paper covers. There are two different types of cloth used for the spine, and 10 different designs of paste paper.
I really wanted to push myself conceptually with the project, and feel that it is much more artsy or abstract than I traditionally am. I had the hardest time with my relatives that I did not know as well personally, or only knew based on their later years. I think overall it went well and I learned a lot about my tendencies, habits, and direction that I am probably heading in printing. I do feel that I am not reaching my potential, and need to continue to stretch myself. I loved thinking about all of the stories and memories related to each of ,these objects, and how much of our personalities, interests, and overall life view is influenced by the past.
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