Sunday, 4 December 2011

With bells on!

Production rates have gone into overdrive in order to meet the deadlines of the last artists' book fair of the season, - Walsall, it was great! - a Christmas market with abc, and presents and cards for friends and family, aside from the MA work leading up to the end of the module.  So, much news but little reporting I'm afraid, hopefully there will be a bit of time to reflect on everything soon.

The fair that was - Small Publishers

We're on the board

Ta da!  The table as it was near the beginning of the fair

A nicely eclectic mix on the bill as usual

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Autumn activities

An excuse to show this beautiful acer that I snapped at the national arboretum at Westonbirt as much as anything else.

The main thing on the agenda for November is the Small Publishers Fair in London this coming weekend.  I have been assembling advent calendars from my letterpress prints so there will be an unashamed 'seasonal' section on our table.  Hope to see some of you there!

Small beginnings

I received this through the post recently, a card from New York which bore the stamp 'Missent to Jamaica'.

I rather like the idea that the card has been doing a bit of travelling of its own before arriving, and its given me some ideas for a rubber stamp project I would like to try.  More to follow when I have done some experimenting.

All the fun of the fair

Well, things have been so busy these past 2 weeks I am aware I haven't reported back on the Manchester Artists' Book Fair.  So until I get time to fill in the gaps here are a few pictures:

Unpacking and setting up

Table display, complete with brown cover for a 70's vibe 

There was a letterpress demo on an Adana press which was great to see! (obviously 'Adana Press' will now be added to my Christmas list)

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Making tracks

At last the books and bits are made, bags packed, and we're off to the 6th Annual Manchester Artists' Book Fair.  I've not been before so I'm looking forward to seeing how / if they do things differently, and have a whole day symposium talking about Photography and the Artist's Book to enjoy first.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Bookmarks are GO!

The bookmarks made for Infiltrating the Library System IX are now launched at the venues.  For folk who can't get to a venue they are also being distributed online by Bibliobuffet who have published this essay about them by Laine Farley.

Art&Fiction have also got a nice link in French on their website.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Blankety Blank

Unseasonably, its been the season to crochet some blankets, here are the latest incarnations.

A purists' blanket made only in shades of grey (and named the In Grey by its recipient), fun to make as I made it up as I went along, inspired by and experimenting with different stitches garnered from Pip over at at Meet me at Mikes.

A surprise for a baby that I heard was soon-to-arrive.  I haven't seen the parents in a long while so I just hope they are into the crochet revival!  Ripple pattern as ever from Pip Lincolne as above, and I have to say, one of the fastest to make I have encountered so far.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Revisits exhibited

The summer has felt like a bit of a catch up, getting some books prepared for exhibitions that I committed to some time ago.  This has included making some more copies in the editions of the Ghost Train and Ticket books, and revisiting and reconsidering some older works.

For a joint exhibition between Universities in the UK and US I have chosen to display Journey, 2006 - the result of a mail art project asking people in global locations to write a postcard describing their favourite journey.  The images on the cards are identical and are displayed together make up one large repeated image or card, as shown in these very dingy photos (note to self to take some new ones when the work is returned).

Journey, 2006

For the  exhibition Correspondence, which will be travelling around Poland in 2012-13 I chose to re-examine the book project Returned, 2006.  This consists again of postcards, sent between the UK and US and I decided to present it in a new format for this exhibition.  

I wanted to use thin light paper reminiscent of airmail letters and settled on layout paper.  My intention was to photocopy the cards, to create a quick rough reproduction, using double-sided printing to create a true copy of each card.  Tests showed that a black and white copy did not show all of the markings on the cards so I used colour copying.  The book is compiled from single sheets, rolled over and stapled on one edge.  The end result is a light, flimsy, temporary feeling book.

Returned, 2006.  Re-delivered, 2011

Friday, 5 August 2011

Travel update

From this... this!

A couple of travel text collages I made have now been transformed into stickers and badges to accompany the next issue of The Blue Notebook - I love them!

Friday, 29 July 2011

Play your cards right

After admitting to Graham Rawle that since attending his talk, where he described his upcoming book The Card and his own collecting of lost cards, I had passed up the opportunity to pick up a dropped 5 of clubs on the platform at Paddington station, I was compelled to pick this up.  It was lying on the pavement on my walk to the station at 6.20am on a sunny morning after a rainy night, making it a little soggy and grubby.  I tucked it into the inside cover of my book to dry flat and forgot about it until the train ride home.

Closer inspection revealed that it was not a playing card but a language translation flashcard, which disappointed me at first.  However, after glancing at it every morning over breakfast I have fallen for it and set off for work repeating the words over to myself. As yet I have no picture in my mind for what it will become, but there is definitely a project in there.

Stamped out

Had a brilliant time at the Homemade Rubber Stamp and Book workshop taught by Stephen Fowler at UWE this week.  Who knew carving into rubbers could be so satisfying? (well I had an inkling) and I learnt so many tricks and tips that will help in my future making thanks to Stephen's expertise!  I arrived somewhat unsure of what to make, but drew on my now familiar world of ticket and text related ephemera to make some stamps I am really pleased with and can use again.

As a group we made 2 books, one based on the concept of the game 'consequences' or 'exquisite corpse' where we each made a 3 part figure and then shared them to stamp a mixture of top, middle and bottoms to make 8 unique pages.  The second book was a chance for us to each display our favourite stamp creation in an edition of 8 books.  So great to have something to take away at the end of the workshop with a reminder of other peoples designs to provide ideas about techniques.

Here are a few pics of the day:

Thursday, 14 July 2011


With the Homemade Rubber Stamp and Book workshop I am participating in later this month in mind, to get into the groove I whipped up some labels for Dad's birthday, to use on his homemade jams and preserves.  Simple but effective, and not at all chintzy.

(NB They are not PG rated, those are his initials!)

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Tempting fate?

I've been working on some visuals / graphics / objects / artwork - whatever you like to call it - for the next issue of the artists' books journal The Blue Notebook.

Heres a sneak preview:

I really hope I'm not tempting fate for my new commute next week.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

On show

The Russia - UK book project - Sons of the Sea (times) - that I contributed to earlier in the year in has now been compiled and the UK edition has gone on show in the Library Special Collections room at UWE's Bower Ashton campus.  Further venues to be announced, but you can see the full range of 24 images from the Russian and UK participants on the Book Arts webpage.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Loose ends

I spent most of last week on the letterpress, as it was the last chance to use the print workshops before the long summer break.  I was experimenting with some of the 'ornaments' or symbols to create text reminiscent of a digital message board.  100 bookmarks were duly printed, plum black ink on ivory 270gm card, plus a few extra bits and bobs.  Now all I have to do is cut them all to size.

I have also literally been tying in loose ends, this time for the blanket I have been crocheting as a gift.  Full photos will be posted after it has been gifted, but I can tell you that I based it on this granny stripe pattern from Attic 24 .

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Many happy returns

After a break from making to finish coursework (for most of May by the looks of it) I'm trying to catch up with some long overdue birthday gifts.  Some rubber stamp carving later and we're in business....

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Bye Bye BABE!

Easter and BABE have been inextricably linked in my mind for sometime now, so please do excuse the image, an amalgamation of cards I made from Japanese origami paper,  for being slightly out of step with the calendar.

After what has felt like many months of anticipation BABE has now been and gone.  Its been a great weekend, so much to see and people to talk to, and a few leads to follow up.  Many thanks to all those who popped by to say hello, and if you didn't get a chance to participate in my book recommendation swap then why not take part now?  Fill in this form and receive someone else's recommendation in return.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Finishing touches

Its been a busy couple of weeks getting all the books and bits and bobs made and ready for BABE but I think we're almost there.  In a sudden rush of letterpress printing on Friday I made some more train-themed bookmarks, so those just need chopping up once they're dry.  And I am in the process of making some forms so folks can contribute their book reviews on the spot.  But then, I guess I can clear the table ready for the next project!

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Not leaving it to chance

Printed on the letterpress using wooden type:
 OS Grot Ornamental 10 point
My preparations are underway for the Bristol Artists' Book Event (BABE) and its all going according to plan, though as ever there is lots more to get finished.  I will be joining other members of the abc to sell some books and ephemera, and our stand will feature an exciting Lucky Dip, for which we printed a few signs on the letterpress, just to get the right aesthetic.  The fingers on this manicule look a bit odd though.

Zip it!

After the frustration of a power cut midway through our letterpress class a couple of weeks ago I returned home and, keen to get some printing done, set about carving out some new rubber stamps with which to make some long overdue greetings cards.  There were a couple of themes going on, to suit different occasions, but as usual it was printing the stamps in a different way to that which I had intended which yielded the preferred results.

Zip card

Monday, 7 March 2011

On your recommendation

In December I signed up to take part in Beau Beausoleil's call to book artists for an inventory of Al-Mutanabbi Street.  Here are the full details of the project.

I am hoping that the idea I am working on will capture that spirit of the book that he describes, and  demonstrate the value of the bookseller by pitching us all as 'sellers' in our recommendations to others.

I have begun to collect book reviews along with a bit of data from a range of friendly contributors.  I am intending to print these on A6 index style cards, kept as looseleaf within a custom made folder.  The idea being that the reader could browse for a review but the book title and author would not be displayed, only the ISBN, and they would get a brief idea of who was recommending it in order to help them decide whether to follow it up.

More on the printing process later.  If you would like to contribute a review please get in touch!

Final February

This is the print I am handing in for the Russia-UK artists' book project. And before you say it, it's supposed to look faded out!

It was printed from a card collagraph onto 250gm off-white paper using rubber-based black ink.  This final version was a second pull to get the grey newsprint effect.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

On show

This week I completed and sent off a few of my ticket books for the exhibition Home from Home, curated by Louise Atkinson.  Around the theme of home and featuring work from over 80 artists, the show runs alongside the 14th Leeds International Artists Book Fair and will be installed at 153 Woodhouse Lane, Leeds from 11 - 18th March 2011.

Take a look at the exhibition blog for more details.

Ticket books and 'home ephemera' in bowl

Thursday, 17 February 2011

What's your type?

Two weeks in and I'm really enjoying the letterpress evening class.  I am aiming to incorporate it into my next big collaborative project - more on that soon.  I was particularly taken with the wooden poster type that we looked at this week, so will start thinking of a way I can use this, perhaps for some nice evocative ephemera relating to my ticket projects.

February - printed


< From  this

  To    this >

Process: Laser cut card offcuts stuck onto greyboard with PVA, coated with several layers of shellac.  Printed in the relief press onto newsprint, cartridge paper and cream sugar paper.  Wiped clean with white spirit.

Today I printed what may be the finished prints for the February project, I just want to try one more thing once these are dry...