Friday, July 26, 2019

Calmer currents

This cooler week was such a blessing. I really think that heatwave almost did me in. Here are the last few sets of tip-ins for my book. Thank goodness a friend told me NOT to do this for every single spread. Each is a different dye or pigment.
I took the previous dummies and used those prints as my templates to cut out each bit. This one I had to do a lot because I only did 9 in my first session and had to do the 10th the next day.
This is the hardest one but once they're done it's very satisfying. Thank goodness for tweezers.
This is the smallest one and good in both directions. An easy start if I work from the back of the book, or a welcome finish if I work from the front.
The covers took a while to construct, all from persimmon-coated hanji. You can see some is much darker than others, some much crunchier than others. It's funny how you make these things not knowing why and years later they let you know what they would like to be.
Those are the four spreads with the tip-ins. I was surprised by how patient I was with this part of the process, gluing and drying under weights. I usually never want to wait and then things come out cockled.
I started sewing with silk thread but it wasn't quite right. Then I went back to the linen thread I did on the first dummy. Still not what I was looking for. Then I finally got the right touch with the pineapple paper thread that I spun years ago. Was it six years ago? It was just the right weight. There's one drum leaf on the bottom, a different structure, my liberty with a variable edition.
Paper thread is too precious to throw away so these will wait for the next project. There are a couple gold threads and a needle in there as well since I used gold for all the covers. That was a challenge, even with pre-pierced holes, because the gold paper wrapped thread kept coming apart as it traveled through the crunchy persimmon covers.
And of course, more offcuts from cover construction! I didn't think I'd finish this edition before I left but I knew I wouldn't want to have to do it when I return so Present Self is giving Future Self a big gift. Now I can try to get this other edition done, which is big, as I usually don't try to do this many in a year. Fingers crossed I can do it during my final weekend before endless driving east.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Rough waters

I am frantic now trying to figure out the best way to edition two brand new artists' books before I leave in less than two weeks to teach in Boston. Here are the five dummies (the final one hasn't been bound yet) for the biggest bear of a book. Nothing has been quite as right as the very first one, but translating pencil scrawl and drawings to a computer and then back out again has been very, very challenging.
I had typed the text for the second dummy (the first I always do longhand) but friends preferred the handwriting, so I inked it once. Then I scanned, had to manipulate all the images to pull out the background, and re-set the text. I also had by then inked and scanned and manipulated and dropped the drawings themselves. Because I thought I wanted a different structure, I went to a machinemade paper (horrors, I know! But I had to test it). That meant re-sizing because I couldn't stand wasting so much paper to get the square-ish size based off of my hanji screen.
As expected it felt very sterile on the machinemade paper and too small. So then I had to resize the pages again. Also, the text was way too heavy because I only had a thick pen nib at home during the heatwave and didn't want to get more. Lesson: just go and get more! Because then I had to re-ink the text with a new pen.
And I thought the drawings were the hard part!!! They were not. I'm at the most difficult place now, where I'm pretty sure what I need to do but it will require one last big tweaking of the digital file and test print run. My printer loves to grab and crumple my paper, so I have to prepare for the worst. Everything else in my life feels like the worst, so all I can do is control are these pages, ink smears and all.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Scattered post-its

I tried to write down a bunch of different tasks that I have weighing my mind down onto post-its, and then onto a bigger sheet of paper. Trying to focus on only one to three on a given day, but it's hard when the general contractor calls you out of the blue and you have to drive to the site immediately to answer questions for the subcontractors. But at least there is movement. A year later than I wanted it, but movement for the studio.

In the meantime, so much writing and computer work going on! Other people are staying busy as well: check out Anne's and Michelle's Rhinoceros Project—they are very close to meeting their goal (they need about 3K because a matching donor will take care of 5k). Happy weekend.