Friday, 31 May 2013

Eco-dyed monoprints

Great day spent experimenting with eco-dyed monoprints under the guidance of two printmaking book artist friends. Finished the afternoon with over sixty prints, some of which will be worked into future projects. The prints were produced in two batches, each batch a multi-layer tied 'sandwich' of sheets of Hahnemuhle 300gsm mould-made watercolour paper alternated with assemblies of gathered leaves, flowers and shredded vegetables. One batch was boiled for two hours in a solution of water, vinegar and rusty nails; the other was steamed for two hours over a solution of water and vinegar. The results were stunning but somewhat unpredictable and certainly not repeatable, which I guess is the delight of monoprints. For anyone interested in the process, details can be found here.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Bad Gallery v Good Gallery

Bad Gallery: I once sent a book off for exhibition and heard nothing more of it until it was returned at the end of the exhibition with a fresh grease stain on the front cover and missing most of the purpose designed packaging materials that were designed to protect the book in transit.
Good Gallery: One of my recent works is currently included in the 2013 Libris Awards exhibition at Artspace Mackay. This gallery's dealings with me (and I presume the other exhibiting artists) have been impeccable. I was advised that my work had arrived, invited to the exhibition opening, provided with details of the exhibition awards almost as soon as they were announced and, last week, forwarded links to photographs of the opening, general shots of the works as displayed and individual shots of each of the works in the exhibition (the latter can be checked out here). As well as all that, I'm delighted that my piece has been displayed to advantage (above). Well done Artspace!

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Bind Date Update

At last some progress! My Bind Challenge container is complete (apart from a fastener), as is the first of its books, Riders on the Storm. The original four compartment box has been lined with Suedex and fitted with a Geltex covered bi-fold case.
The design decisions I've made for the first of the books - binding style, text paper, digital image formats, cover paper, fonts, leather spine piece - will now impose a discipline on the rest of the project. I'm reasonably confident that I've left myself enough flexibility to cope with whatever the instructions for parts 3,4 and 5 of the challenge throw up. Famous last words?

Sunday, 12 May 2013


This week's image was taken part way through  last weekend's workshop (Franzband Part 1) - my book is the one with the red headbands. The Franzband is a very exacting technical binding with the boards laced-in before any covering materials are applied so that any errors or blemishes are difficult to remedy or disguise. I made things doubly difficult for myself by choosing a smooth leather for the spine and a plain paper for the covers that show any faults for all to see. After completing Franzband Part 2 this weekend, I'm a little disappointed with what I've produced but will plug away at the leather onlays that are part of the cover design in the hope that I can make some of the more obvious flaws less apparent.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Playing with gold

Lots happening but frustratingly little to show for it, hence my lack of recent posts. In the last couple of weeks, I have started a new edition; made some progress on my Bind Challenge; completed two of the four days of my Franzband refresher; run a few sessions of an eight week master class with four book artists who are spending time in BEMBindery working on their own projects; and wound up the first part of a short course on illuminated lettering that will hopefully improve my very rudimentary gold leaf skills. None of this has yet generated anything of interest to share and my feeble A (above) is the best I can offer at the moment, I'm afraid.