afternoon was spent in the basement of the MCBA, which, I've announced,
would be just as eerie and creepy as our own basement (which has its
very own dirt floored vortex of hell,
as our friend has named it), if it weren't for all the good company and
whirring of presses. Alone, with the lights flickering off--no, thank you.
began that first essential step of editioning her book. She has put
together her final book dummy, using overhead sheets to indicate how the
text will look on her layered paper, and she's done practice runs on
the Vandercook to test the bleed. She's noted the trip and ink
measurements and has started moving toward that final object. She
brought in a hard copy of the long poem she's been tinkering with over
the summer and into autumn and hopes to send out PDFs tonight or
tomorrow for final plates.
Her mentor in this program stopped down to discuss margins, and Regula, who was my instructor in a the weekend version of Letterpress I
also came and discussed the gripper margin. My brain whirred at the
precise nature of book arts, the ways in which one must measure down to
the pica when approaching a more professional product.
book itself will be 6 x 12 and Japanese stab stitch binding. The paper
will be doubly layered--an internal tan center and the outer layer a
cotton textured paper, which will be the paper the poem is pressed
upon. When I tried to describe it after first seeing it a little over a
week ago, I described it as a mix between a doily and snakeskin.
paper had a cellular feel to it, which is ideal, given the topic of her
long poem--she uses the skin's layers as the guiding organization and
returned-to topic. I love it. I've read it as it has transformed, and I
can appreciate the shifts and strengths.
Meryl's husband Shawn, who is a tattoo artist and is responsibleforthis,
will do the design work for the inside--an adaptation of those
dermis-layers, and Meryl will order polymer plates from Boxcar (I
ordered my first last week, which I will share once the project is more
The day was spent on the bad cutter;
one knows which equipment is finicky in the studio and that particular
one was being used by a bookbinding class upstairs. The press pulls
when locked and this paper has a fabric-type stretch. I contributed a
little bone folder action, which was meticulous and tricky, as the ends
didn't always line up and the grain fought me a bit.
joined us, telling us about her experiences with Occupy MN and her
reiki healing. She read through the hard copy, where we discussed such
intricacies as single word choice, italics, and the shifts in meaning
I'm glad to be present for this project--not
only present for a dear friend but also observing the practice for when I
delve into my own work, which might not be as elegant or ambitious, but
celebrated and better for the shadowing.
M. made a little post about it on her blog, hinting at what is to come.