Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Week 21: The Road Trip Map Game

letterpress title plate over paste paper
   The book-of-the-week for Week 21 is The Road Trip Map Game. The title plate was letterpress printed on Stonehenge paper with 24-point Goudy Oldstyle font and 18-point Crayonette font. The cover boards are covered with paste paper and silk book cloth.  Inside, the text pages are a variety of maps from Italy, France, and Georgia, South Carolina, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, and Washington DC, USA. Based on an unusual book structure called a harlequinade, the accordion-spine book has two horizontal rows of page sections. Each section of nested map folios was cut in half horizontally. The top sections were sewn onto the top half of the accordion spine with a 3-hole pamphlet stitch. The bottom sections were shuffled and then sewn onto the bottom half of the spine piece, resulting in the maps no longer aligned as a page. The movement and flexibility of the accordion spine is amplified by the dual horizontal rows of page sections, resulting in brief glimpses of the map areas and a wiggly floppy sort of effect when the book is opened. 

opening... array of maps

The turquoise linen sewing threads can be seen on the backside of the spine. They are tied with a knot in the valley of each section. The Mohawk heavy paper used for the spine was pressure printed on the Vandercook letterpress at Penland School of Crafts. The effect of water droplets sprinkled onto a print plate coated with oil-based inks... then transferred onto paper as it was run through the letterpress, makes the folded spine appear as if it were moving through tree-filtered sunlight. 

letterpress light drops on the spine
   Just inside the front cover are the Rules of the game... Basically the objective is to try and match the top map pages with the correct map on the bottom row of pages. This is both mentally stimulating as well as physically challenging, because the accordion folded spine tends to keep the two hemispheres from aligning. Oh well.

How to play...
 Inside the book, even though the cut sections are shuffled and sewn onto the spine so they don't align naturally... they still have a geometric sort of beauty.

maps all mixed up...

Maps matched, sort of
Harlequinade derives from the word harlequin, which means buffoon or jester. With that context for the book structure, no wonder the book is rather silly.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Week 20: Map

a single morning and your fate...
   This week's book is a broadside haiku poem titled Map. It briefly describes the significance of each morning in the course of a lifetime.

   The poem was written in a morning this week, using haiku, a Japanese poetry technique dating back to the 16th century. Though there are differences between traditional Japanese haiku and modern haiku... as well as between the Japanese style and the western styles... this poem follows the tradition of 17 syllables; with 5 syllables on the first line, 7 syllables on the second line, and 5 syllables on the third line.

  For such a simple but significant topic, a special paper was needed. The paper was handmade from abaca and cotton by the artist several years ago during a half-month class at Penland School of Crafts. On that hot August day, the cotton and abaca were macerated and pulverized in the Holland paper beater for over 5 hours before the pulp was fine enough to be made into paper.  Since then, the paper has been in storage until needed for the right book project.

   On a second morning this week, the paper was marbled using the Japanese marbling technique, suminagashi. To create the marbled papers using suminagashi, colored inks were floated on a vat of water, then swirled and agitated by blowing on the water for a striated organic effect. Then, a piece of paper was gently laid atop the water's inked surface to transfer the inks onto the paper.

   A day later, when the ink was dried, the poem was letterpress printed using the Pearl press and 18-point Pacifica typeface and black ink.

   Finally, on the last day.. when the ink had dried...  a final embellishment of red silk embroidery was hand-sewn on the piece to indicate the growth, changes, and movements of a person's life.

This is the poem....

Each sunrise bringing

not just awakening Dawn

but the map of your fate.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Week 19: I've Moved!

   The book-of-the-week for Week 19 is really a set of cards and a book-like box to house them. Its title is I've Moved! The box is made to resemble a half-bound cased book. The book box can set on the library shelf along with the other books.. or lay flat on a table and open like a cigar box. It's covered in off-white pearlescent crinkle paper made in India. The spine is covered in Japanese silk book cloth, and the core space is covered in a vintage marbled paper made in Great Britain. A rather worldly box materially, the contents are all about home.

outside it looks like a book...
inside, it is a box

Open the cover and inside the box are a stack of 25 postcards, each with a digital print of a Google map and the letterpress text. The letterpress printing was done on the Pearl press with two colors and six different fonts... A lifting board with a satin ribbon pull rests below the cards for ease in removing the cards from the box.

the front of the card: moving news, a map, and an invitation
When the postcards are pulled out both sides can be seen.. on the stamp side are images of the new home, the sender's new address, and the phrase...

All that's missing is a Tiki bar and YOU!

first unpacking.... then having a party!
   Moving to a new home is one of those turning points in life. Our home is our nest, our cave, our palace, our asylum. It defines us... and like a turtle's shell, it is our skin. So, when we buy our first home.. if we are so lucky... it really is BIG. Even if the house is only 600 square feet. We begin to find places for our favorite things.. those favorite books.... oh Yes! .. and our bed, our couch, and grandma's chairs... sorting out the kitchen, and the closets... We begin thinking about new towels and curtains... some new gadgets we've always wanted... a must now that we're at the new house. 
   Moving in is so exhausting (even with movers), it's hard to realize how disoriented we are until the first night. There is a buzzing glow of elation and a big grin on our face as we lay in bed trying to go to sleep... but our feet hurt so bad and we can't settle down.. and the curtains aren't up yet and the street light is shining on our face.. and some dog is barking... is that a car alarm going off? Wait... is this one of THOSE neighborhoods????? Then things settle down, it's our first night in our first home. That grin comes back. And eventually... we fall asleep.
What would you want in your first home?
a lifesize chess set... like Wonderland????
a big pool?
a pretty park nearby with picnic tables?

a place to sit with the one you love?

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Week 18: Journey

   The book-of-the-week, Journey, is a tiny travel journal. It fits comfortably in the hand at 4 inches tall by 3 inches wide.
the cover.. a removable case with paste paper title plate
Paste paper and vintage fabric make up the outer coverings of both the case and the pamphlet book. A baby blue vintage button and elastic cord make the closure.

the botton and elastic closure...
   The book set is made up of two parts: a hardcover board case and a soft-cover two-signature pamphlet book.  The simplicity of the pamphlet binding and the sturdy and snug straps on the interior of the case make it possible to re-use the case for a series of travel journals...

the case and the removable book
The pamphlet book has insertions of pages taken from a 1923 Encyclopedia Britannica. A separate book of three of these pages was sewn with a kettle/french-link binding and glued to the first page.

vintage encyclopedia pages, a book inside a book... 
The delicate pages are sewn to have fold-outs. Though the reading matter cannot be read totally in context, small snippets of the information can be perused. This additional inclusion of historical information is a nice background to traveling...

fold-out pages of the insertion...
"History is not a burden on the memory but an illumination of the soul."
-Lord Acton
1919 fact chart...
In the center portion of the two-signature pamphlet is a pop-out map taken from the 1923 encyclopedia.

fold-out map of Germany, 1920

The removable pamphlet book and its case are both covered in paste paper in shades of blues, greens, and reds. The pamphlet book has a fore-edge flap that has been covered in hand-dyed indigo. The colors were all chosen in reference to the beautiful Dresden china of Germany, which has a long history as home of German royalty as well as a center of arts and culture.

removing the book from the case...

antique Dresden china..

slipping Journey into the straps...

Journey is a book for recording the impressions and aspects of the present while knowing that within a moment it becomes the past.

"We don't receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us." -Marcel Proust

a German airplane, 1920...