Above are the first hundred sheets of ONE THOUSAND I will eventually make for the covers of my new book, The Natural History of Raleigh, which will arrive from the printer soon and be out by Mid-November 2018. The sheets are made of high quality scrap and cotton linters, with bits of dried oak leaves suspended in the pulp.
The sheets are 12 1/2 by 20 inches, formed on wove screens of medium coarse silkscreen. I use two screens for extra draining time before couching (laying off on to the wet felt) each sheet.
When I’ve got a stack of a dozen or more between felts, I slide my hands under the stack and lift it into my big press, which is framed by 4×4 lumber and powered by the lovely jack you see (another story sometime). After a good sqeeze and another later, the sheets are ready to lay on boards – or in this case, washed glass.
They dry with the pieces of dehydrated oak leaves down on the glass, which makes that outside cover surface extremely smooth and perfect for printing. Each sheets uses up a good sprinkle of oak leaves and I add pulp and fresh oak leaves between each sheet. I pick a batch of dark un-scarred leaves, sandwich them between screens in a 105 degree dehydrator for a couple of hours, then shred the pieces with my fingers. The project will require many, many pieces of oak leaves.
The Natural History of Raleigh will be published by The Paper Plant Press and includes over 30 line drawings by me, the author. I have worked on this book for over a decade and can’t wait to share it with you!
Folded cover with letterpress block for back
Cover with scored spine and polymer block for front
The finished project is HERE!
My friend Richard Butner runs a science fiction conference every summer just an hour north of me and last summer he brought a prominent up-n-coming SF writer, E. Lily Yu, to meet me and see the Paper Plant studios. She was very intrigued by the collection of wasp nests in my display of fiber materials, and I explained that the wasp was truly the first papermaker. When I investigated her online writings, I discovered the reason she was so interested in the wasp nests – her story entitled “The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees.” I emailed her, saying I would probably make some wasp nest paper soon, and she asked me to letterpress print the first line of the story on some of it for a museum exhibit she was helping to curate.
E. Lily Yu at the Wing Luke Museum. pic by Amanda Chen
The show, at the Wing Luke Museum, is called Worlds Beyond Here, and runs through October 2019. I have already been inspired to make a different kind of hand-laid paper piece for Ms. Yu, and I am thoroughly enjoying reading her work. I’ll keep you apprised!
I created a book celebrating the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s publication of Frankenstein for a show at Asheville Bookworks.
The inside has pockets with body parts exemplifying major systems.
Asheville Bookworks show info here.
It was an honor and pleasure to provide a display window full of objects, images and information about the art of making books for Buncombe County’s North Asheville library, where I am a regular patron.
Papermaking, letterpress printing and bookbinding were all featured, with interesting specimens of the final product.
A special love of mine is books as objects of art, and several examples were on display.
All posts on Bibliophilia
Screenprinting is easy and my kind of slightly crude; it was the first printing process I used on my hand-laid papers in Greensboro in 1977-78. The last screenprint I did was in 1983, when GG and I screened an image for some anti-war group she was part of. Now I have screenprinted a souvenir to hand out at the Black Mountain College conference in Asheville. The theme of the conference is craft, and my image is a detail from Anni Albers’ fabric artwork entitled Red Meander. Her work,in turn, is based on an ancient motif that appears on early pottery around the world.
after Red Meander by Anni Albers. silkscreen on hand-laid paper.
To make this, I blew up the original image (from the book Red Brick, Black Mountain, White Clay, by Christopher Benfey) until the lines were about an inch thick. then I darkened the dark areas and taped the image to the underside of a silkscreen. I cut roughly one inch strips of masking tape and filled in the dark areas I saw through the screen with lines of the tape. All this flipped and reversed the areas of print, but with the meander, that doesn’t really matter!
I picked up some red screen printing ink at Askew-Taylor’s and added a little aquamarine and yellow to get the brick red I wanted. I had whipped out 50 extra sheets of our hand-laid 6×9 card stock over the weekend. Laying the sheet on a registered spot (with a new scrap larger sheet under each lay), I then set the corners of the silkscreen on register corners and lay it on the paper. Spooning a generous dose of ink along the top line, I pulled my blade tool over the screen, running the print (which was slightly larger than my sheet) to the edge of the paper. Lift, separate, and lay to dry. There is a letterpress credit on back done with our small brass stamper.
I look forward to more screen printing as my new schedule allows for some projects like this one. And three cheers for Black Mountain College and the amazing presence it continues to have in the arts of our land!
John Dancy-Jones had the honor of providing the lobby display this month for Cameron Village Library, showing his large collection of bookmarks.
These bookmarks were collected over a lifetime of book gathering, both personally and as bookseller in downtown Raleigh for ten years. Many famous bookstores and authors are represented, but you can find unusual objects that served as bookmarks as well. Some seem to tell a story. There are miniature books on display as well.
Children’s side of bookmark display
Many of the bookmarks cherish or celebrate reading and books.
Mark the new Year with a Good Book!
These little books have 10 same-sided sheets inside – 40 pages! these collage covers are by John (larger book covers are done by Cara) Enjoy!
(click to enlarge)
These books are available for $15 plus shipping. Order here. Or catch us at the Boylan Artswalk Dec 2nd.
Our blank books at Etsy
See all blank book posts.
I put together a book arts display for the local library and was able to show it at my school as well. Pictures below.
Above is the display at Cameron Village Regional Library in Raleigh, NC. Below are images from a similar display at The Fletcher Academy in Raleigh.
Posted in Book Arts