Sunday, April 27, 2014

Week 17: Turnstile Pies

an old fashioned turnstile...
   Turnstiles are gates that move in a circle... gathering up a traveler in their embrace, carrying them around in a half-circle, then releasing them on the other side. There's something about turnstiles... that make them just a bit more intimate than the average gate. They may count your entry through a portal. They may have a mechanism for collecting tokens or payment  as you progress through an entryway. They always keep you in that place of transition... just a bit longer...than the average gate. 

   A place of transition is sometimes referred to as liminal space...  which is connected with thresholds and described this way. "In anthropology, liminality (from the Latin word lÄ«men, meaning "a threshold") is the quality of ambiguity or disorientation that occurs in the middle stage of rituals, when participants no longer hold their pre-ritual status but have not yet begun the transition to the status they will hold when the ritual is complete. During a ritual's liminal stage, participants "stand at the threshold" between their previous way of structuring their identity, time, or community, and a new way, which the ritual establishes." -Wikipedia

So why would someone want to stay longer in a state of transition? Perhaps... if pie is involved. The book-of-the-week for Week 17 is Turnstile Pies. It may be a stretch to make the connection between pies, turnstiles, and liminality... but there is no arguing that pies are a direct connection to the human psyche... Because they are just so delicious, they practically cause transcendence! And if pie isn't used for rituals... it SHOULD BE. When you are eating a delicious piece of pie, you feel like you have one foot on earth and one foot in heaven! Just imagine it as a big Turnstile Pie.

The front cover, with Cherry Peach pie in the window...
   Turnstile Pies is a ring-bound book covered with a 1940's vintage cotton tablecloth partially painted with acrylic paints. Affixed to the front cover is a paper volvelle painted to resemble a homemade pie and letterpress printed with the title, Turnstile Pies. Volvelles are paper wheel charts which date back to early medicinal and astronomy books of 11th century. They are fun, interactive elements of books.. and they resemble turnstiles because both rotate in a circle. Making a volvelle that connects with the term gate was a fun challenge for this week's book-of-the-week.

volvelle from Astronomicum Caesareum by Petrus Apianus, 1540
   The front wheel of the volvelle has been painted to look like the lattice crust of a pie. A small oval window has been cut out of the right side. The back wheel of the volvelle is the pie filling. It is separated into eight sections, each painted to represent a different flavor of pie. The name of each pie flavor has been letterpress printed on the back wheel so it can be seen through the window when spun to the correct position.  Cherry Peach Pie, Lemon Meringue Pie, Mincemeat Pie, Berry Berry Berry Pie, Pecan Pie, Pumpkin Pie, Chocolate Chiffon Pie, and Apple Pie are all eight of the (delicious) pies on the volvelle. 

Berry Berry Berry Pie...
Chocolate Chiffon pie...
Pumpkin pie...
Mincemeat pie...
Pecan pie...

The letterpress work for this book was a little challenging and especially fun. The placement of the type on the eight wheel sections involved eight separate printings. The placement of the printing with regards to the volvelle window, as well as the tabs... and the decision to match the font aesthetically with the flavor of pie, were all unique to this book. A colophon, listing all of the fonts used for the book in their exact typeface, was also printed for the book.
The colophon of typefaces 
 Turnstile Pies is an activity book with more to do than just spin the volvelle on the cover. Inside the book are six pages of recipes for pastries and pies, which can be followed to make delicious pies of all kinds. The recipes have been digitally reprinted from a vintage 1939 cookbook. They include, but are not limited to, the recipes for the eight pies listed on the coverpage volvelle. The recipe pages are separated by divider pages with tabs also printed on the letterpress. 
start with the crust...
Overall, the book  resembles the vintage 1939 cookbook it is based on.
The original source...and Grandmother's number one cookbook
A page of pie recipes... yum!
tabs in various typeface fonts... for easy retrieval..
The last section of the book is a section of ruled blank pages with the tab header More Recipes. This section is for adding new recipes and infers more interaction (and pies) in the future.

More recipes, yea!
handprinted ruled pages...
turnstile from a late 1800's cartoon... 
This French lady has gotten stuck in the turnstile.. did she eat too much pie?

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Week 16: Beyond the Garden Gate 2014

   The book-of-the-week this week is Beyond the Garden Gate 2014. This book is a map of a backyard garden. It's a hand-drawn sketch of the backyard plat here at Orange Lantern Press... made over nearly a month of planting from March 22, 2014 to April 17, 2014... and accompanied by snapshots of the garden plots taken on April 20, 2014. The title plate is a photograph of the garden gate leading to the backyard. The title was printed on the letterpress in Boul Mich. typeface. The snapshots are glued onto a piece of paste paper with a garden motif.
the cover with its title plate...
   The accordion-style book is bound by an ancient technique called a slat book or palm leaf book. Palm leaf manuscripts are found in Indian, Nepalese, and Southeast Asian culture and religions. The leaves of either the palmyra or talipot trees have most often been used for palm leaf books. The palmyra leaf, thick and inflexible, can become brittle, and most ancient texts are long gone. The thinner more flexible talipot has lasted as long as 600 years. 
ancient palm leaf book
   In Orissa, a state of India on the Bay of Bengal, palm leaf manuscripts are part of both historical and modern culture. The illustrations on palm leaf books are mainly of two types, simple engravings or illustrations in pure line on palm leaf and engraving with colour fillings. In these engravings, colours are muted and play a very minor part. Where colours are at all applied, they are just painted either to emphasize the inscriptions, or to fill up blank space. Today, the ancient art of palm leaf writing still survives. Religious texts continue to be read out from palm leaf manuscripts rather than from printed books. Horoscopes, too, are traditionally written on palm leaves by professional horoscope makers known as nahakas. The palm leaf was considered so sacred that even after printing presses began operating, important texts continued to be printed on the leaves instead of paper.
Palm leaf illustrations from Orissa, India
    Beyond the Garden Gate 2014 stands up on its stiff board slats like a folding screen. On the backside (or outside) are photographs of the actual garden taken this morning (April 20, 2014). Two green glass beads are threaded into the midpoint of two lengths of waxed linen thread that connect the slats. These beads also serve as the closure mechanism when the book is folded up and the loose ends of the waxed thread is wound around them.
all folded out...
   On the inside of the slat book is the map drawing of the garden. It is annotated with the dates of planting, dates of sprouting, and transplanting dates. Other items in the yard like the hammock, a large tree stump, and the sewer valve are also drawn on the map...and annotated to show their placement.
a map of the garden
   Annotated texts are interwoven with the primary source text in order to make a book more reader-friendly or to include pertinent notes for a study guide. The goal of an annotated text is to facilitate reading and comprehension of the source media. Some famously annotated books include: Sylvia Plath's copy of The Great Gatsby, Mark Twain’s annotations to the title page of Plutarch’s Lives of Illustrious Men, and Vladimir Nabokov’s copy of Kafka’s The Metamorphosis. ( you are pro altered-books genre, or anti-... annotations are another layer in a narrative... a sort of whisper of the personal story of the reader... a behind-the-scenes subplot. 

However, other than the cats (Charlemagne and Louis) lurking around... there isn't much intrigue in this week's book. The sunny photos of the budding new plants in their newly turned weed-free soil beds and snug under their golden straw blankets... are all about a cheerful, upbeat, flourishing... Spring! 
garden gate photos... an Easter Basket of colors!
A closer look of the photos on the book...
pea bed by the fireplace and herb garden on the brick path
kitty cats, parsley and garden pots...

A closer look at the drawings on the map...
peas, onions, herbs, peppers...seedlings
pole beans, kale, tomatoes,  beets...
There's always some place of inspiration.. some seed...

Garden gate in France, 2008
and all there is Beyond the Garden Gate...
garden in France

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Week 15: The Complexion of a Landscape

The book-of-the-week for Week 15 is The Complexion of a Landscape... an assembly of various papers painted on the page to create landscapes through collage. The simple poem, a list of synonyms for the word pieces, alludes to the diversity of a place. 
Cased-in cover of marbled antique book pages, silk bookcloth, collograph print
   The book includes strips of pages from an antique reference book on animals (Histoire Naturelle de Buffon de Lacepede, 1879, Tours, France), photographs from a 1956 Tour Guide of Paris, and a variety of cut-outs from pastepapers, marbled papers, collograph prints, and assorted commercial paper scraps from bins at the Orange Lantern Press studio. 

 Endpaper and Title page...

Scraps... segments...   
slices and allotments....

hunks and portions....

(more) hunks and chunks... 
bits and cuts... divisions

fractions and fractals....

morsels and moities

A kaleidoscope of shape and color
in the complexion of a landscape, 
the diagram of place.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Week 14: Indigo Chaos

     The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines chaos as  1) complete confusion and disorder: a state in which behavior and events are not controlled by anything; or 2) the state of the universe before there was any order and before stars and planets were formed. 
Creation theories aside, life isn't always characterized as chaos... but in this week's book-of-the-week, Indigo Chaos, it is. 

   Indigo Chaos gets it's title from the background imagery created by drawing with a string and india ink on a polyester plate; then using lithography to print the image in shades of blue on sheets of text paper. The random marks bring to mind a jumble of disorderliness, as if one were tumbling in an abyss of the unknown. Instead of using a codex-style book form, the pages have been assembled into an accordion book. Which, with it's zig-zag structure, reiterates the concept of non-conformity. The page connections are facilitated with black Yuzen (printed Japanese) paper, chosen to remind one of an iron being the ultimate gate. And the gate also symbolizes transition... which is often associated with a feeling of chaos... or lack of control. Red silk thread runs through the entire book... again, signifying life. Geometry personified, it juts up and down, makes crosses and loops, and seems to speak it's own language. 

Finally, there is the poem...written by this artist (while digging a garden bed for summer squash... note the reference to rocks and weeds...and the wilderness!) and then letterpress printed on Pearl (the 100-year old press here at Orange Lantern Press) as a variable edition of three. This is the poem...


Sometimes life
feels like an Indigo Chaos

and you just have 
to find your way

through the blood gates
of memory  

You will find
your way

Following that thin
red line...         

one day
to the next 

and even when
you’re through (the gat)e...

you’re not through, 

Find a good spot,
squat in the dirt

and pick out the 

Don’t think you can
pull out all the weeds     

They’ll just grow back 

...and you will too.

When life swallows you 
and you’re in the wilderness. 



The last page.. the Colophon... a short list of the attributes or bio of the little book. And see.. the red thread has gone WILD!