The Liquid Fault Line

Category : book, pamphlets

It’s been quiet around here which means a lot of working has happened.

The summer informational pamphlet for 2018 is complete and is on its way to subscribers, friends, friends of friends, and acquaintances. The Liquid Fault Line addresses strategic retreat from the shoreline in an age of rising sea levels.

What are the costs? What if you don’t want to leave your home and community?

What are the various adaptation strategies and who benefits? What will happen if we don’t plan ahead?

 

Individual copies can be found here.

In related news, I’m also working on a new full-length artist book, title TBD, hopefully to be completed  in time for the next CODEX fair, in February of 2019. Here’s some in-progress photos:

It’s all about disappearing islands, both real and imagined. I’m hoping to have all the images and backgrounds printed before school starts up in the fall, with the text to be printed in Sept/October.

That leaves November for fall pamphleteering activities, December for mailing and binding and assorted catching up. Reasonable? Perhaps.

I think I’m excited about it for now, and have tried to structure the book so I won’t get too sick of it along the way. There’s enough improvisation in it to keep me interested; I don’t like projects which require all of the planning to happen in advance, I get bored in the middle of production when that happens.

Wish me luck.


Glasshouse is here.

Glasshouse is here.

The second project I spent most of the fall working on is a new book project: Glasshouse. It is a limited edition artist book that looks at the history of greenhouses, a technology made to cultivate foreign plants in a controlled environment, originally in service to empire. How did we build structures to contain trees meant to grow elsewhere? What is it like to sail off the edge of what you know? What does economic botany mean?

I spent a lot of the spring taking photos of exotic plants in greenhouses and reading about botanical history. I learned a lot about why botanical gardens exist, which is something I don’t really think we think about when we enter one. Today, botanical gardens do a lot of important conservation science and research into how plants are used and have been used by various people throughout the world.

But when they began, it was a bit different. Botanical gardens were used as a research facility for European imperial governments. Their roots were in medieval medical gardens, where the students would learn about botanical remedies and their uses. As Europeans began sailing around the world, gathering plants and gold and various other things from other countries they suddenly realized existed, they brought seeds and seedlings of foreign plants back and tried to grow them in Europe. Elites had already developed the technology to build heated enclosures to grow oranges and citrus fruit trees from the Mediterranean; these buildings were used to house these new kinds of exotic plants, which often weren’t happy to be in the colder climate of Northern Europe.

As European nations competed for power and resources through exploitation of the rest of the world, one element they considered was, What kinds of plants are there out there and how can we use them? Colonialism and botanical gardens had a tight relationship that I don’t think that is obvious when you are casually walking through and enjoying a room of orchids. A glass room in London filled with tropical plants is sort of a perfect image of colonialism if you think about it.

I wanted the book to be like walking through a garden; visually engaging, with the text as a caption to the plants, but one that makes the narrative and the context of these plants clear.

 

There are some waxed pages in there for the transparency.

And the second section of the book is specifically focused on the specific kinds of plants that I’m talking about and how they were transformed into commodities.

I’m pretty happy with how it looks. I’m going to the 2017 Codex Book Fair in California next weekend, Feb 5-8. You can see the book in person there if you happen to be there, otherwise I’ll also be at the Manhattan Fine Press Book Fair in NYC in March. So there’s that. Copies will be available in February; I’m furiously making boxes this week.


My arms are tired

Category : art, book
My arms are tired

Hi Mom,

You may have noticed that I haven’t blogged in several months. I know! For a variety of reasons, I had to print an entire book and a pamphlet in the space of three months. I know, that’s a lot! A mad dash for three. whole. months, with no time to breathe, or cook, or clean, or certainly blog. This is a photo of the last run I printed last night:

ferns

I’ll post more soon about both editions. On to binding. See you at Christmas.


Glasshouse.

Glasshouse.

 

IMAG4008

This Friday is the opening of Made Here, Winter 2016 AIRs Artists at Gutenberg Arts, where I’ve been working since January. Work by Chris Bors, Joiri Minaya, Seung-Jong Lee, and myself will be in the gallery through May 1. (Come say hello!) 

 

IMAG4090-2

For the last three months, I’ve been concentrating on woodcuts for a new limited edition book on greenhouses, botanical history and the global reshuffling of tropical species.

 

IMAG4226

How did we build structures to contain trees meant to grow elsewhere? What is it like to sail off the edge of what you know? What does economic botany mean? What did new plant species mean before the development of a pharmaceutical industry?

 

IMAG4214

And then what is the relationship between science and empire?

IMAG4088

 

I have a general idea of the structure of the story and how to house it. I have proofed the blocks I have already carved, and have a plan for what is to come. Guttenberg Arts was a great place to work; the residency provides a stipend, printmaking and ceramics facilities, exhibitions, visiting critics and lots of support. I’m hoping to edition the book this  summer and finish the edition this fall.

 

I’m going to try to give periodic updates on the book and its subjects, we’ll see how that goes. I’ve been neglecting this space lately. In the meantime, come to New Jersey on Friday and see the show. The reception is from 7 to 9 on Friday, April 8th at Guttenberg Arts, you can find directions here and here’s the Facebook event page.

IMAG3650

Also: coming up this weekend is also the Manhattan Fine Press Book Fair; info on that is here. I’ll have some prints from the new project with me at my table at the fair, if you’d like a sneak preview.  It’s a busy week!


Onward.

Category : art, book

2016-02-14 16.55.28-2

It’s time to break out the hot pink ink, folks, in a vain attempt to keep warm, perhaps. I’m working out how to print something that looks like a greenhouse, something that looks like a staged version of tropicality. Or something along those lines.

2016-02-14 17.07.03-2

I’m also working on portraits of Joseph Banks this week, the renowned botanist and free love enthusiast. I discovered that not only did he come up with the idea of bringing cotton as a cash crop to the West Indies (to develop new markets to provide England with cotton for its textile mills), he also thought England should bring Chinese teas to India, so that the British would have a more affordable place to buy their favorite beverage. Never underestimate a botanist.

IMAG3602


Beginnings of a Book

2016-02-09 20.19.01

I found out this week what the beginnings of a pineapple look like:

2016-02-07 19.31.24

As I’ve been muddling forward trying to learn what the beginnings of a new book might look like. It’s all vague at this point; I’m trying to figure out what I want it to look like, and what kinds of things are going to be there.

2016-02-02 19.53.34-2

I’m not sure what to say about it all. It’s fun, messing around a bit with bits of paint and wood.

2016-02-06 19.15.38

NJ was frigid tonight, and I am happy to be back home with a warming cat. I’ve gotten to the good part in this book, (James Cook and Joseph Banks just got to Tahiti) and am looking forward to getting a copy of this one. Here’s to progress, and future endeavors.

If you are in Portland, you may want to stop by 23 Sandy Gallery during the month of February, where they are currently hosting Ink+Metal+Papera new exhibition organized by the CC Stern Type Foundry:

 Ink + Metal + Paper features recent letterpress work from a select international roster of renowned printers and includes books and broadsides showcasing the use of metal type, ornaments, and border elements in relief printing.

There’s lots of amazing letterpress work in the show, and I’m proud to have a pamphlet in there. And if you’re in LA this weekend for the LA Art Book Fair, check out the Floating Library, which is making a West Coast appearance in conjunction with the fair. There’s some pamphlets involved, I heard. You can learn more about Sarah Peters’s aquatic reading escapades here. 


Thinking warm thoughts

Category : art, book, inspiration

2015-04-28 16.14.05

So I’m about three weeks into a residency at Guttenberg Arts in New Jersey. It’s been fabulous so far. I’m hoping to flesh out a mockup for a new book to be produced this year, about greenhouses and botanical gardens.

2015-04-28 16.14.25

Why did Europeans sail around the globe picking up plants to bring back home? Bring artists on their boats with them to paint samples of plants? Build enormous iron and glass structures so one could grow a palm tree from a pacific island in the middle of England? Develop interconnected analog networks of naturalists and botanists, trading plants among themselves? All of this seems odd to me, but tied into the history of the field of natural history, and colonialism, and the spread of invasive species.

So I’ve been drawing some flowers:

2016-01-16 17.47.11

2016-01-16 16.11.13-2

And some windows:

2016-01-16 19.28.08-2

It’s been great fun. I hope to have a plan for the edition at the end of the residency, and some blocks ready to go, paper and structure sorted out. Seems reasonable so far.

 


Whoops

Category : art, birds, book, pamphlets

Apologies for the shameful lack of blogging as of late. I’m finishing up various things, and starting various other things, and rushing around and such, as one does in fall. Having spent a sweltering summer without air conditioning I am really appreciating fall this year. Leaves! Sweaters! Squash-based dessert items!

SO, to sum up: this happened:

inside1_web

Which is the summer Brain Washing From Phone Towers publication Milky Seas. All about the wonders of bioluminescent bacteria. 100 copies in silkscreen and letterpress went out recently, if you received a copy I hope you enjoyed it. They glow in the dark!

I learned to silkscreen this summer, which is still exciting and new. I’ve been doing so at the friendly and convenient Shoestring Press on Classon Ave in Crown Heights. They are lovely people. I have been messing around with various patterns and colors, trying to get a handle on what to do next :

new print in progress

I am, miraculously, almost completely done with binding bird books. The deluxe editions of the Field Guide to Extinct Birds are now available:

book with prints_web

which include a set of hand colored additional bird prints for your enjoyment and informative benefit.

And finally, I am looking forward to starting the fall pamphlet this year. I can’t tell you what it’s about, but I can tell you that it involves FIRE.

fire_web

And that’s my whirlwind report from the last two months. I’ll make more of an effort to keep up in the future.

 


MIND BLOWN

Category : book, inspiration, type

Went to NYPL on Friday as a post-birthday treat with the glorious Roni Gross, Jessica Lagunas, and Asuka Ohsawa. We saw several great books, but the star of the day was undoubtedly Romano Hanni’s Typo Bilder Buch, which we were all immediately smitten with.

hanni

 

hanni2

You can see a video of the entire book (courtesy of Otis College) here:

 

Amazing, right?


Adventures in Home Binding

Category : art, birds, book

I HAVE FINISHED PRINTING MY NEW BOOK. Folks, I can’t believe it.

2015-02-24 18.09.18

I have set and distributed and set and distributed more times than I can count, but here’s the last run:

 

 

2015-02-27 15.14.10

 

Which means only one thing: time to start binding. Here’s some signatures pressing, in the improvised studio otherwise known as a shelf in my extra room:

 

2015-03-06 08.29.25I’m sure it will work just fine. Once everything is folded and collated, it will be time for some spine lining. I plan on using a cast iron pan as a weight. Wish me luck!

 


Setting and resetting

Category : birds, book

red biled rail

Bird update: I’m mostly setting the text for each bird at this point. If all goes well I should have almost all, if not all, of the individual bird pages printed by the end of the year. (Fingers crossed). Which means all that would be left after that is the intermediate stuff (this is what happened in Hawaii, etc.) and the beginning/introductory stuff (this is why people made field guides, etc.).

Whew. In the meantime, I’ll be setting and resetting pages and pages of type. I’m pretty quick at it at this point.

If you’d like to see some of the pages so far, let me direct you to my etsy shop right here, where you can browse the finest of extinct bird prints available.

Hope you’re all having a fantastic December so far. My cohort Jasper here is glad to have me working from home today.
image

 


@