08 March 2011

Books and Letterpress: Writing, Poster, Class

Writing Notebook
I recently used up all the pages in my writing notebook and found myself in need of another one (if anyone's curious, I usually have three or four separate notebooks on the go for different things, plus at least one sketchbook for drawing--currently I have a fiction notebook, a less-used non-fiction notebook, a bookbinding notebook, and a notebook for one of my side blog projects).

As a bookbinder, I of course wanted to make one. Usually I have several on hand, but none of my current stock was a good size or structure. I like simple, utilitarian hardcovers within a general size range for my writing notebooks. Finally, after digging around, I found one that would do in a bunch of sewn-but-not-covered unfinished projects. It's a little smaller and a fair bit thinner than I would have liked, but with no pages left and a story half-done and insisting on being written longhand (not something I do that much anymore, as my gimpy right hand/wrist can't take it), I couldn't be too picky. I ended up starting to write in it before it was done, anyway.

I have a small stash of those lovely craftsman-esque brass moths that I haven't done anything with (partly because I don't like selling things that aren't all my own work), so even though it would get away from the entirely utilitarian, I added one to the front. The cloth is a polyester (I think) bookcloth that looks like silk, with just a touch of coppery bronze in the black. For endpapers, I used a burgundy with a gold pattern that reminded me of William Morris's work.

My latest print job was a poster for an Art Gallery of Nova Scotia event. It's two colours in hand-set wood and metal type, and meant to look like an old boxing poster. Here's the fist colour on, about to be run through for the second colour:

And here's the type inked up in red for colour number two:

And finally, the Dawson Printshop's Vandercook Universal I proof press with the red type and the paper about to go through its second run:

I don't have any images of the final product, but I did keep a copy for my portfolio. It's still in the shop, but when I bring it home I'll try to remember to post it here. This was a fun job, despite some frustrating and time-consuming difficulties with the first press run, and the client was very happy with the results.

Introduction to Letterpress
And finally for this past week, I taught the first of seven evening classes for NSCAD Extended Studies in Intro to Letterpress (metal type). It's another great group and I don't think I bored any of them too awfully much with my babbling. Next week they'll be setting their own type and from there on it's setting and printing all the way, with as little talking as I can get away with. I didn't think to take any pictures, but maybe I'll manage it this week.

Oh, there was one other thing. Several of my art prints (some litho, some intaglio) have been in a show in Brooklyn called Retrofuturology. The show ended recently, but I got an email from one of the organizers, saying their group wanted to buy the little Steam Ichthyosaur. This means I have only one left for sale (plus two that will be bound in an artist's book). The other three pieces should be on their way homeward soon.


Carol said...

The journal with the moth is beautiful and what a lovely moth. I understand what you mean about not wanting to sell things that are not entirely your own, but you are one of the few people I know of with the ability to make everything you need. I love the little Steam Ichthyosaur and obviously others do too. Well done.

Niko said...

Thanks Carol! Eventually I do plan to make copper book fittings. Just have to clear away a million other in-progress projects. :D