Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Bowl and the Book

   This week's book is titled The Bowl and the Book.  I wrote this little story when I was trying to decide whether to continue being a potter or become a book maker. But it's really a discussion between a bowl and a book about which is better... and that brings me to the word competition. This book is really about competition between two equally wonderful things. This week, with the Olympics occurring in London, the word competition is a really big deal!

   If you've been reading this blog, you know I'm taking a 2 ½ week woodblock printing class with Belgian print artist Goedele Peeters at Penland School of Crafts. Goedele is an amazingly talented artist and a wonderful (and tireless!) instructor.  She has led us into a process of creating complexly layered woodblock prints which is just a jumping off point for years of playing in this medium. Now that the class is almost over, we can look around the classroom and see many different approaches to what we have been taught, and a room of beautiful prints.

   So, I started planning the design of The Bowl and the Book last week. I drew the images and planned that the woodblock prints would be in black ink with the text set and printed on the letterpress. I was influenced by an antique Japanese storybook I had from the late 1800's ...and thought to make something similar in size with a black line border around each illustration. I knew I was in a competition against time. I had seven days to finish it. I set my goal to carve a block a day. I did that! ...wood chips a-flyin'! Then I set the type to letterpress print the story. Yesterday I printed it all! Woodblock illustrations on the pressure press and text on the letterpress. Fourteen hours later I was done with everything but the cover. I let the ink dry a bit then I printed the cover paper and bound the book today. It's still a little sticky, but here is the story.
A woodblock print covers the small flat spine book
And the story goes like this...

There once was a bowl 
and a book. The bowl led
 a very busy life. He told 
the book, "I am so important,
 people reach for me every day! 
I feed the world. Without me 
man would starve!
"I feed the world. Without me man would starve!"
Into me people put their rice
and their beans, their soup and
their strew, their ICE CREAM!
I am most important. I feed the world
"...their rice and their beans, their soup and their stew, their ICE CREAM!"
The book stood quietly on the
shelf. "It is true. Sometimes
I stand for months on this shelf, and 
no one even touches me.
I stand for months on this shelf...
But sometimes they do take me down
 from this shelf, carry me to a quiet
place and read my words.
...carry me to a quiet place and read my words.
Into me people put their thoughts and 
their theories, their histories and 
their prophesies... their whispers from GOD!
 I also feed man, but instead of food, 
I feed him ETERNITY!"
... their whispers from GOD!
And the bowl said, "Oh, you're
so dramatic!"

The End

I wish your team the best of luck, but just being in the competition is good enough for me!