Sunday, 10 November 2013

Final call for Christmas

In the course of having a bit of a tidy up of prints, books, and assorted ephemera today I've uncovered a few last copies of the letterpress advent calendar I printed and compiled 2 years ago.

I need to make room for new work so am going to sell these off for £5 (inc. p&p), any letterpress fans in need of a Christmas countdown, get in touch!

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Back on the horse

After something of a lengthy pause post-MA it is time to get back on the horse and introduce some new work.

A visit to the Pushing Print festival in Margate led to some foraging in Martells (a lovely printer and stationers) and being coaxed into acquiring a roll of tickets - thanks Angie!  I've been contemplating these for a few weeks now, and finally they have resolved into the following book.

A concertina book of tickets, each revealing a small personal admission on the reverse, in proportion with the scale and transient nature of the ticket.

A Series of Small Admissions

Rubber stamp printing onto paper tickets with card end covers 
53 x 34mm
edition of 25
£4, available via Impact Press at Small Publishers Fair, London, at Volume, Birmingham or by contacting me (email address on side menu).

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Across the pond

Card by the StoneArch Press (Minneapolis, MN)

Having been back from Minnesota for a couple of weeks now I've had a chance to reflect on all of the discoveries, experiences and conversations from our visit to MCBA (Minnesota Center for Book Arts).

Coming from the UK where book arts is still quite a marginal area of arts practice it was something of a revelation to be in an environment where it was the commonality of everyone we met.  I had expected to be wow-ed by the letterpress facilities (I was) and the Center as a space and resource, but I guess what I hadn't considered in advance were the people.  From full-time practitioners, to teachers and researchers, everyone was so enthusiastic about making and discussing all aspects of artists' books, and I was both alarmed and flattered to be treated as an equal by them.  The Book Art Biennial in particular was not only a chance to chat informally with book artists whose work I have admired and been inspired by, but made me consider the differences between the US and UK in the teaching, appreciation and practice of making artists' books.

And there I was thinking I'd left all serious academic thought behind at the end of the MA.  To compensate here are some gratuitous letterpress shots...

Printing on the Vandercook SP219 aka 'The Beast'

Learning how to do double-sided printing
Pressure printing - like magic!

These were taken during the 2 day course I took in 'Creative Letterpress' with Regula Russelle at MCBA.  I was a bit bemused at the beginning when it dawned on me that we weren't going to be using any type at all (despite being surrounded by cases and cases), but in fact the techniques we learned were great, and I think could easily translate into more type-based experimentation if I get the chance.

Sunday, 16 June 2013


Well its been a whirlwind couple of weeks finishing the work, putting the show up, chatting to visitors at the show, and taking it all down again!  I've yet to receive my module feedback, but I'm pretty pleased with how it all went.

For those who couldn't make it here are a few images of my corner of the gallery...

Monday, 6 May 2013

The Final Furlong

The end is in sight, literally, as the day for hanging work for final assessment and degree show for my MA is now on the same page of the calendar as today!

Masses to report but no time right now to do so.  Since the last post I have been at the Leeds International Artists Book Fair, and Bristol Artists' Book Event, as well as printing and scribbling furiously for the MA (and a new job and old job but lets not go into that here, suffice to say its been a busy old time).

So this whimsical book made back in October unfortunately doesn't hold true at the moment, there is plenty of bother and drama (though still definitely no banana).

Sunday, 17 February 2013

An ode to the handmade

A conversation with a colleague over some particularly fiddly letterpress registration as part of a complex book composition, about how she knew it would have been so much easier to design on the computer and print digitally, and why even knowing this she chose not to do that, led to the comment 'because digital doesn't make you happy'.  This was meant not just literally, but as an acknowledgement that it is the hands-on process of making which brings some of us as much satisfaction as the end result.

At a course run by the same colleague, learning to print on an Adana press, I printed 'Digital doesn't make me happy' onto a set of postcards, one of which I gave back to her, the rest of which sold at the Manchester Artists' Book Fair, mostly to other letterpress printers, and I thought that was the end of that.  In the months following, I found the phrase was still in my head, with related sentences and the idea of putting them into a book.  I couldn't shake it off so finally I have printed and made the book, resisting the urge to compose the text in the form of a rhyme, and presenting itself in what is probably the cleanest, neatest book I shall ever make!

It is a celebration of the handmade, and doing things the difficult way because we like to.  It is intended as a light-hearted, humorous comment, rather than a deep statement, though it does reflect the overall ethos of my practice.

Digital Doesn't Make Me Happy
Edition of 20, letterpress printed and hand bound
Will be on display and for sale at the Leeds International Artists Book Fair in March, and at BABE (Bristol Artists Book Event) in April.