A while back I had the idea of creating a “Semester Review” on Borscht & Babushkas as a way to share with you all what I’ve actually been up to in my MFA Book Arts studies. And also, you know, just so you have some evidence that I haven’t disappeared off the face of the earth or that watching marathons of LOST is not the reason I’ve been slacking on blogging (although that does sound quite nice).
This is part one of three in my “Semester Review” series that will feature my classes from last semester: Letterpress I, Bookbinding I, and Calligraphy Blackletter Hands. Well…actually it’s a three year MFA program so technically this is Part One of Six which would make this post Part One (A)…or something like that…
All technicalities aside, I’m absolutely loving my program –– which is good because it’s uhhhh pretty much my entire life. While I haven’t exactly had time to post recipes with tantalizing food photography or every reminiscent thought I’ve had about Ukraine (I’d probably run out of blog space if I did that), I have for the most part semi-diligently documented my work throughout the semester (thanks camera phone!). At some point I will take much nicer photos of my finished projects, with a real camera, but I find the process photos just as interesting and I hope you do as well.
(click on the first photo to view in a larger slideshow format)
lovely views from the Vandercook Universal 1 press
California Job case layout
Project 1: Typeset and print 150+ words
mmmm letterpress type, just delicious!
Project 2: a word and its definition. Mixing rubber based inks.
after two print runs I finally got the contrast I wanted
Vandercook in action
setting type for Project 3 — this time it’s my own poetry!
I kind of have a thing for this press, can you tell?
locked up and ready to print
metal backed photopolymer plate of a line drawing I made
dampened paper print run complete, time to stack and dry them
finished! the text is a poem posted on my blog the day I left my village in Ukraine
colophons are great and just look at that type on dampened paper!
sketching for a Ladie’s Typographic Union calendar page
photopolymer plate made and proofed
amethyst (Feb’s birth stone) color selection
a swampy color mixing mess (I swear i’m usually tidier)
pretty ink on the rollers! and look at that huge stack of paper I have to print…
all 300 prints cut and ready to go!
ready for assembly
justifying text is much harder in metal than it is on the computer. Here I had to use tweezers to insert copper/brass spacers to get it all just right
making a sandgraph by adhering lace with a glue wash to particle board
in the press bed ready to experiment
and it turned out SO WELL! so much detail. Printed on Japanese Sekishu.
text written by yours truly it reads “tell me once more how it all went, how the birds sang your name, and the wind felt your presence”
typesetting for the last project
point 6 bulmer — pretty challenging to handset
lock-up for the final project. Text written by me during my Peace Corps Service. I think I’ll have to write a separate blog post about the text itself.
collagraph image making done and now nearly finished (just need to trim head and tail)
this is what happens when your set type falls apart (because of carelessness, oops!) before you put it away…what a mess!
Ladie’s Typographic Union calendars on display and for sale
putting away type, letter by letter, all done for the semester!