Follow by Email

Saturday, December 6, 2014

It's a binder's life for me, part 2

With the binding of the special and standard editions of the new book almost complete, it is time to turn my attention to the deluxe binding. I have orders so the pressure is on.

This state of the "Where Stucco Meets Chaparral" is 10 full leather books housed in clamshell boxes with additional botanical prints not found in the book. Ten leather books, what was I thinking?

I've got the first 5 underway and they have completely taken over every available surface in the studio.

Here's a view of the chaos from upstairs.

This one is ready for its spine treatment. The next step is the board treatment of trimming the foredge and shaping the boards.

These two are almost done. They are getting their inside leather hinges.

A pile of Valley oak leaf onlays that have been cut out of thinly pared leather for the cover decoration.

These books need to have their boards fixed.

Paring leather is not relaxing for me.

I stop and tidy up periodically but it gets all messy again before I know it. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Did I mention that there is a map?

Tucked into the back cover of the Special edition and sewn into the Standard edition, there is a map of the trails of Corriganville Regional Park. It also shows the collection locations of the specimens in the book. Also, all the sites of the old movie sets from when the area was a popular movie ranch and location for many cowboy movies and television shows.

It was printed with five polymer plates except...

a couple pieces of type somehow didn't make on to the plates and had to be printed from handset type in interesting arrangements in the bed of the press.

It's a book.

Where Stucco Meets Chaparral 

Like the self-taught naturalists of the Victorian era, my recent work examines the intersection of my artistic and scientific interests by collecting and cataloging the natural world. I am inspired to record, interpret and celebrate nature.
In my new artist’s book I observe the natural world around me. Where Stucco meets Chaparral explores the trails though the sandstone formations, chaparral and oak woodlands that surround my home in an arid inland valley in Southern California and my connection to the landscape. 

Where Stucco meets Chaparral is a printed herbarium of local California native plants with stories of local and natural history and personal observation gathered during many years of daily walks. Detailed images of seven indigenous plants are letterpress printed in multiple colors in tight registration through their seasonal life cycles that contrast hand-carved representations of the environmental context where they prevail.

Where Stucco Meets Chaparral is published in three states:
The Standard Edition, numbered 1 - 25, is 108 pages and is printed on Somerset bound in the simplified style with printed abaca wrapped boards and a cloth spine.


In the Special  Edition, numbered 26 - 60, each signature consists of a folio of custom abaca paper by Katie MacGreagor wrapped around a Somerset book wove folio with a quarto-folded sheet of handmade kozo forming the center spread.  The books are longstitched sewn with waxed hand-dyed linen thread through a cover of rough heavyweight Twinrocker unbleached abaca. The spine is reinforced with a folded piece of green goat parchment. A bone button wrapped with a braid of linen thread forms the closure. 

It's a binder's life for me.

After printing for nearly a year, Where Stucco Meets Chaparral went into the binding stage.

The terrifying first step – trimming down the sheets. Then collate, press, pierce, sew, etc.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The type really pulls the room together

I'm pleased to report that the printing of the 21 plant specimens is complete.

So, after many agonizing months of type drama and delay (set, proof, reject, recast. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Honestly, hot pokers forced under my fingernails may have been less painful) the printing of the type is well underway.

There are three types of text: short prose poems about my connection to the landscape in 12pt California Old Style italic, 10pt herbarium collection data and 12pt roman main text with information about the plants and natural and local history.

There are quite a few printing tasks ahead. 36pt California Old Style italic plant species names and heads printed over the wood type. Background plant images for folios 1 and 2. Small caps half-title and chapter openings. Title page. Small cap collection dates. Prints and map to accompany the deluxe edition. In order words, I still have a way to go.

Oh yeah, and then there's the binding.