Sunday, October 9, 2011
dream of a perfect interface (one)
This 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.
Meryl 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.
The 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.
The 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 responsible for this, 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 underway).
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.
Colleen 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 therein.
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.