Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Making New Books

For a while now I've been thinking about making some new books for the Small Publishers Fair which this year will be held on the 16 & 17 November, at Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London.

I find it so easy to procrastinate. I read somwhere that, 'The main thing is to begin, the next main thing is to FINISH. Anything can happen in between'.

With that in mind and to start the ball rolling I took something I wrote about 3 years ago and began with that, intending to write something new but discovering that I like what's happening with this.

This shows the idea taking shape, with some paper off-cuts and a photocopied image.
To take things a little further I cut some paper to what I thought would be a good finished size, using digital text and a photocopied image I made up a prototype.

I like a generous amount of space around text, and especially the image. My aim being to encourage the eye to linger and rest on the page - to give enough space to concentrate on what's there.
I like the way things are taking shape, but I'm not yet convinced by the cover. 

I do want to use blind emboss for the title, however, this might not be the best book for that - I'll see when I've tried out a few more alternatives.

In the meantime I'm going to cut a lino block for the images, and maybe try out letterpress for the text . . . . of course that will depend very much on which type I have - I do like the digital font I've chosen.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Inspired by the creativity of friends and strangers

It's been a busy few days, and not much has been done in my shed . . . . youngest brother and his missus stayed for the weekend and we braved the weather to see the Levellers at Avebury Rocks ll 

I'm aware that I overuse the word fabulous, but they so very much are. If you look closely you can see the rain.
The droplets are big enough to capture even with a phone camera.
How can you visit Avebury without taking a stroll around the stones, and letting your mind wander. We can only guess at the motives of our forbears (and unless we discover time travel this will always be guesswork) the mystery adds to the magic of Avebury, especially in low light - watching the rain coming in over the hills.
Seeing a friend in Oxford and catching up with a few exhibitions also kept me out of the shed! I particularly wanted to see Out of the Woods at the Oxford Museum of Natural History. I can recommend it, artists Robin Wilson and Rosie Fairfax-Cholmeley produced a thoughtful show, with a good range of wood and linocut work. 

We also saw the Jenny Saville exhibition at the Ashmolean and Modern Art Oxford

The work in the Ashmolean is to accompany her first solo exhibition at Modern Art Oxford. The Ashmolean has two large scale drawings on the theme of motherhood. I really enjoyed her drawings, they are both personal and universal, she took inspiration from, The Virgin and Child with St Anne and St John the Baptist, by Leonardo da Vinci, and creates two powerful and moving images of a mother and child.

Today I spent the morning running around the country side, having a lovely time (which included a very fine slice of carrot cake) but still not in my shed . . .

So, on my return home I thought about my week. 

I have looked and looked, talked and talked . . . but not made anything. I have however, spent a week being inspired by very creative people. I have admired work made by strangers and I have looked at the books made by friends and I have been galvanised into getting to grips with a project that has passed me by!!

When I got back to my shed today I needed to make something, so for a quick fix I decided to develop and idea I'd had in mind to do for the Tenth Anniversary of bookartbookshop  X = or What is to be done? At the time other obligations meant I couldn't submit a book, but I had thought quite a lot about what I would like to do.

I pulled out my wooden type, a motley crew I know but much loved by me, and started working on an unfinished old viscosity mono print I'd made some years back. I've had it in mind for some time to find a way to make use of various prints, unfinished or just unloved, it seems such a waste of paper to have them sitting about the place.
Printed and cut, a maze book starts to take shape.
The addition of a cover,
an X is for kisses,
and hey-presto at the end of the week I've made a piece of work. 

I feel much better now.