Multi-color prints on letterpress

wood type and print on old letterpress 'Showcard' machineRecently we drove to an outlet mall in Illinois to get my “new” Showcard Press. That is, we arranged to meet the seller at the mall parking lot, pulled around the back, carried/lugged the press from one truck bed to the other, exchanged cash and some history about the press, then each drove away. Continue reading

Interview with The Fiddleback

Interview with S.V. Medaris
Interview with The Fiddleback, “an independent, online arts & literature magazine edited by a reclusive band of poets, writers, and audiophiles from across the country.”

Class collaborative, end of semester…

Last day of teaching for the Book Arts class at UW this semester. What a great class (there were some really exceptional students in this group) and we all made a lot of stuff. I had no idea how many books I would have to make in order to demo (think cooking class–different stages ready to show), but omg I never dreamed it would have been this many! Holy cow. But, practice makes (closer to) perfect, right?

Here’s some of my students’ books, after the leather binding workshop we did, along with some of their 1st half of semester books (click photo to enlarge):

leather bound and other handmade artists' books

And some of their gorgeous marbled papers we made after Spring Break (click image to enlarge):

mosaic of marbled papers

For end of semester, we printed/bound a class collaborative travel/adventure book (students picked the theme), with each of us making a spread (6in x 12in wide).

printed book cloth, papers

Some of the pieces–the printed cover papers and book cloth (lower right), little 1/2-size model of book to figure out pagination (upper left), title page, little bellhop guy that will be featured on interior pages of the book… (click image to enlarge)

I haven’t taken pics of the individual spreads yet, but (above) are some of the pieces of the book in progress. Handmade paper on cover, polymer plate printed 17th century world map on various pages, cover paper and book cloth. Also polymer-plate printed bellhop guy for some of inside spreads. I marbled the endpapers onto Rives BFK tan. Here they are drying in foreground with my double-spread foldout of Ivan and the Wily Coyotes in the background:

marbled paper and relief prints drying in studio

and the title pages and colophon are letter-press printed with wood type (big letters) and lead type (smaller text). Here’s setting up the type (#1) for the colophon and the students’ names (that they set themselves with the lead type), that will be printed with white ink over a polymer-plate-printed dark brown cover stock (#2). Click either image to actually read the type!:

lead type cased in on letterpress
printed colophon: white text on dark brown paper

I will post photos of the finished book and some spreads next time.

Leather bookbinding: Pictorial Webster’s…

That's what I'm talkin' 'bout

Saw this at Prof. Jim Escalante’s Book Arts Class page, and had to share. It’s the (re)making of the old Pictorial Webster’s. I want one! Or make one. Great inspiration for the new leather-bound book I’m making now (prototypes for showing my students how to make their own leatherbound journal for this upcoming spring semester at UW!).

Actually, saying this is inspiring is an understatement. I want to be there in that printshop and just hold those 19th century engravings–the actual blocks– in my hands, and smell the leather covers….

Anyway, enjoy!

Pictorial Webster’s: Inspiration to Completion from John Carrera on Vimeo.

And at YouTube

My first leather-bound book

thick, small leather-bound book with vintage fish illustrations in itFrom the Bookbinding II class at The Center for Book Arts in NYC, we learned how to make a leather-bound book. Here’s my first try, a fairly small (5 1/2in square), thick (1 3/4in) journal, covered in leather (binding) and aquatic-themed paper purchased from Bowne & Company Stationers, a print shop at the South Street Seaport Museum in Lower Manhattan (learn more about Bowne at Bowne and Co’s Facebook page).

We learned how to work with leather–how to pare it down so it’s thin enough to fold, how to handle the material and moisten the “grain side” of the skin prior to adhering with rice paste…. And so much more! It was a fantastic class, with a fantastic instructor: Susan Mills

Anyway, it’s a great material to bind with, and I look forward to making more leather-bound books.

vintage illustrated fish decorates end papers of leather-bound book

leather spine of book