Wednesday, February 29, 2012

5 haiku

In the excitement of working on stitching speechless -- the editioned artist's book that's been taking up most of our studio time -- I almost forgot about this unique, one-off I made for the Ackland Museum Store's "Books and Broadsides" show back in the fall.

It's called 5 haiku, and it uses the steel can star-binding that I invented a couple of years ago for another project called the Googled English Frontier Star. This binding consists of 5 signatures arranged around a central cylinder to form a star. I've done the binding before using either steel cans or sturdy cardboard tubes covered in decorative paper or cloth to form the central cylinder.

Each signature is sewn in a regular 3-hole pamphlet sewing pattern. Instead of tying the thread off at the end of a section, though, you carry it through the center of the cylinder to begin the pamphlet sewing of the signature on the opposite side. If you do it carefully, your criss-crossing threads will form a perfect star in the middle.

5 haiku uses four poems from my poetry blog (no more moon poems) as its text, plus a fifth "visual" haiku that consists of burn marks on the paper. I've used burning decoratively elsewhere on the pages, too. The poems are printed on a beautiful handmade mulberry paper which I tore down by hand, leaving furred edges and cloud-like shapes. Below are a few more images to give you a better sense of it.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

New addition to the library

A couple of weekends ago Margarite and I were visiting friends in Richmond, VA and went to a wonderful little bookstore called Chop Suey. They have used and new books, and an exceptional selection of art-related titles.

While we were there I was lucky to find a very gently used copy of In Memory of My Feelings, by Frank O'Hara. It combines some of my favorite things: O'Hara's poems paired with art by mid-century New York School artists, in an attractively designed book.

The back story is tragic -- the artworks were originally created in response to O'Hara's untimely death by dune buggy in 1966 -- but the book is beautiful. The works themselves were considered lost for decades until they were rediscovered in the archives at MoMA, which went on to publish them in this book in 2005.

Very pleased to add a copy to my book arts library.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Monday links: Where have all the Kelmscotts gone?

This copy of the Kelmscott Chaucer was bound in silver by James Brockman and Rod Kelly in 1998-2003. Image is from v.16 of Skin Deep, the newsletter of J Hewit and Sons, Ltd.

When it comes to nerdy book enthusiast news, it doesn't get much nerdier than following a census of copies of a certain edition of a book. But when the book in question is the famous Kelmscott Chaucer published by William Morris in 1896, I can't help myself.

In The Kelmscott Chaucer: A Census (Oak Knoll Press, 2011), William S. Peterson and Sylvia Holton Peterson attempted to track down all 440 copies of the original pressrun. They managed to find about two-thirds of them and wrote about each copy's history and provenance in the book. Now they maintain a blog to post updates about newly discovered copies as well as Kelmscott-related exhibits and other news.

If this appeals to you, too (or if you want to see beautiful images from the book and photos of some of the various bindings that have been performed on it over the years), check out their blog at The Kelmscott Chaucer.

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As a new thing here on the blue bluer books blog, I'm going to do a weekly roundup of links to book arts news stories that have caught my eye. It's one of my favorite features on blogs that I follow, from graphic design-themed blogs to hockey ones, so I hope that it might bring you some news that you might not find otherwise.

If you have any recommendations, please drop me a line in the comments below or contact me.


* The Crouch Fine Arts Library at Baylor University has a special online exhibit of artists' books to celebrate Valentine's Day

* At Dimitri's Bookbinding Corner, Dimitri Koutsipetsidis describes his unique binding for a copy of Graham Masterton's novel A Terrible Beauty

* Susan Angebranndt at Green Chair Press continues her project to create a new book each week inspired by a prompt from the w of the day. Up this week: Neoterism!

* Speaking of weekly projects, our own local NC book artist Kathy Steinsberger is posting weekly book projects on her Paper Buttons blog.

* And keeping it local, Dave Wofford of Horse and Buggy Press riffs on his new menu design for Watts Grocery over at his blog, Side Spur Ramblings.

There were loads more to share this week, but in the interest of getting the ball rolling, let's call it a post!