Friday, March 31, 2017

Building a Book

Long long ago, I believe in 1999, I first started making some handmade, artist books. I participated in a weeklong book binding workshop at Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA. It was a wonderful experience and it led me to organize my printmaking courses in such a way that the students would print enough etchings or linoleum prints for everyone in the class, which we would then bind into books at the end of the semester. It was the perfect way for them to learn to edition prints and trade those prints with their classmates, plus learn a new process.

I mainly just try to get my editions of prints finished these days, but I remain committed to the physical codex-style book. No ebooks for me. I like to feel the paper, smell an old book, maybe even see what someone else wrote in the margins. Some may feel that I don't actually love books, since I do tend to tear them apart and paint on them. In reality, that is part of my love for them. Turning an otherwise ruined book into artwork gives it a new life.

Recently, I finally finished a book project that first began in 2007. This involved the second generation of Cathedral Floor Plan etchings that I started at that time. I started in on the plates in 2007, got busy, moved, and then they sat in storage until the end of 2016. The intent had always been to create an edition of six books that included these five etchings. The prints stand alone as individual works, but the book actually has text that explains the concept behind these works. 

I made a video recording of the steps of binding the book together and the edited version of that can be found below. Hopefully it inspires a couple more people to take up the cause of the book in this digital age.

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