01 April 2010

SGC Philadelphia Trip - Demos

There were a gajillion demonstrations at SGC, but I only went to two of them.

Spooning Large Format Woodcuts with Dan Miller, PAFA Printmaking Dept.

There was nothing at all high tech about this one, which was what made it so great. Miller uses the same tools he used in college to carve (plus a straight-edge razor blade) and he prints with a bamboo rice paddle. Nothing fancy going on at all, so it's all about the carving, the wood, the ink and the paper. As it should be.

The most technical thing he had was his handmade registration jig (photo at right), which works much like the Japanese kento system, registering both the block and two edges of the paper. I was amused that he seems to register the upper left corner of the paper, which is the exact opposite of the lower right position that I base my registration on.

The print below is one of two that he worked on during the demo.

Drum Leaf Binding with Joseph Lappie, St. Ambrose Univ.

I've been wanting to start work on an artist's book but the whole binding thing has scared the heck out of me, with that learning curve that looks so incredibly steep. This demo was really exciting because presenter Joseph Lappie made it seem so easy that a monkey could do it. I walked away feeling like even I could bind a book -- no stitching, just a little glue and some careful measuring. Measuring I can do. And most awesome of all, every page opens to a full spread so facing pages can be printed as one sheet. This method would also hide the bleed-through verso that's characteristic of moku hanga printing. I can't wait to try it.

If you google "drum leaf binding" you'll come up with a number of sites that explain it better than I can do here, including an article by book artist Tim Ely who developed the method. Basically, each two-page spread is attached to the next along the front edges and the spine edges are glued and wrapped in a paper liner. I'm sure once I get going with it I'll run into problems and there will be a learning curve, but I'm so happy just to have that "yes I can" feeling (which I haven't really had since November '08).

Look, here's a drumleaf book by Lappie where he even added a pop-up!


For more reporting on SGC demos, and a photo of the very cute and engaging Joseph Lappie, see printmaker Wendy Willis' blog by clicking here.


Daniel L. Dew said...

I like this guy! I even use a cheap $7.00 Speedball brayer, an even cheaper plastic wrapped bamboo baren, and at times, hold your breath, Speedball cutting tools!
Very nice work by the way, good story too.

shang li said...

I really like your blog. It's really intriguing. I just started my printmaking major in school and I'm looking forward to it..

Leslie Moore said...

Wow, Annie! You've really been on the move! Can't wait to see the books you make soon. We're in San Francisco this week, going to the Calif. Academy of Sciences this morning. There's a rain forest inside!