Sunday 28 January 2024

OBLIQUE a

OBLIQUE a. For the last week or so I have been working on a new complete book. What, you may ask, is a complete book? Well, in short it is a book that has the art work, printing and making/binding by one person. Perhaps one could call it an Artist's Book.

I am fascinated with many things, artists and designers. I have a modest collection of Victorian/Edwardian glass negatives. The medium is always delights me. The way that light and chemicals capture light-a moment in time- is.... with no pun intended... timeless. In addition the way in which a few of my plates have degraded over time to leave a patina of sorts has, for me at least, created further depth and layers of imagery.


Using my trusty light box we can see more and......


...... with a little bit of computer magic we get the full picture. I just love this sort of thing.

Along with glass negatives I am in awe of the artisans of a bygone age. In particular the artist and crafts people that produced the wood cuts and engravings that pepper a small collection of the Illustrated London News, again Victorian, I have tucked away on the shelves of Studio 5. 

It would appear that I am not the only fan of course, with perhaps one of the most iconic designers of the 20th century, I refer to Piero Fornasetti... of course. In the 1950s, Fornasetti used the face of Lina Cavalieri for his series Tema e Variazioni, which over time became one of the icons of the Fornasetti style.

It has to be said, that I am, along with many others a fan of Fornasetti.


 It has been said, of my work, that it can be rather dark at times. I have to agree, life is dark at times and my work, with books, reflects the contents. I tend not to do books that are happy and gay, flowers and the sort. Having said that, I would bind a book of Emil Nolde's flowers...


I digress.

Back to OBLIQUE a. I suppose that I like to look at life at an angle, to see what is on the other side or to experience from different perspectives. I have always wanted to combine the visual texture of the negative with the stylistic nature of illustrations from Victorian publications. So after a little bit of experimentation, manipulation, distortion and grotesque (comically or repulsively ugly or distorted). 14 prints for a limited edition of 5 books. Each print is 12cm x 12cm and, with the nature of the print technique, each print is unique.



















The prints are proof copies only, the real print job will start next week, which will be fun. Inspiration can be found anywhere!

Wednesday 3 January 2024

Metamorphosis

 

My biblionautic chums and friends.
I now realise that it has been over a month since I last posted.. The Booker Prize and all that Jazz!.... Why the break? No reason really, I have been busy preparing lectures, bench work, teaching out of Studio 5 and the like. I suppose I prefer to post when I feel I have something to post about...
To this end...





Metamorphosis, a design binding, triple board construction in Palimpsest Parchment, hand printed end papers, leather joints to palimpsest parchment panel doublers. Single needle end bands. Just the box to make!
Tech Specs... Stories from the Metamorphosis, illustrations by Walter Bachinski. Shanty Bay Press. 374mm x 265mm 36mm.
Please note.... there are other studios/binderies/ doing stuff, spelling and grammar. Please further note, the opinion of the author may change at any moment. This is due to having an open mind of sorts.

Monday 27 November 2023

If I Survive You, Jonathan Escoffery, Booker Prize 2023... Finalist Binding.


 

My biblionautic chums and friends.
A short film to share glimpses/abstract views of my binding for 'If I Survive You' by Jonathan Escoffery. Design and design ethos, making and thoughts.

Please note.... there are other studios/binderies/ doing stuff, spelling and grammar. Please further note, the opinion of the author may change at any moment. This is due to having an open mind of sorts.

Tuesday 21 November 2023

Booker Prize '23... What to wear.??

My biblionautic chums and friends.
With the Booker Prize award evening this Sunday a number of pressing matters. First I am tryting to decide what to wear. 2nd - I have been told that I can start to share glimpses/abstract views of my binding for 'If I Survive You' by Jonathan Escoffery.
There will be a short film out soon about the making of the binding.
Please note.... there are other studios/binderies/ doing stuff, spelling and grammar. Please further note, the opinion of the author may change at any moment. This is due to having an open mind of sorts.

 





Wednesday 8 November 2023

Metamorphosis, a new commission.

 

My biblionautic chums and friends.
It would appear that I am having something of a print week.
Front and back end papers for a new commission. Metamorphasis. End papers only, the doublures will be printed later.
400mm x 300mm. Soft plate off-set in Deep Space Nova (black oil based ink).
Please note.... there are other studios/binderies/ doing stuff, spelling and grammar. Please further note, the opinion of the author may change at any moment. This is due to having an open mind of sorts.
 

 

Monday 6 November 2023

Nope. First pull with ink.

My biblionautic chums and friends.
A little lino cutting, the first pulls using oil based ink. To speed things up I only did a little mixing of colours, most straight from the tubes. Also no extenders etc. This is to check the registration and to maybe tweak here and there. In the main I am okay with it.
Please note.... there are other studios/binderies/ doing stuff, spelling and grammar. Please further note, the opinion of the author may change at any moment. This is due to having an open mind of sorts.

 





Sunday 5 November 2023

Lino Wax Rubbing.

 

My biblionautic chums and friends.
A little lino cutting, first proof rubbing. I have flipped the images so they are seen as they would print.
Please note.... there are other studios/binderies/ doing stuff, spelling and grammar. Please further note, the opinion of the author may change at any moment. This is due to having an open mind of sorts.
 






Friday 20 October 2023

If I Survive You. Booker '23

My biblionautic chums and friends.
After 3 days teaching a wonderful group of students at my old art college... Lincoln College of Art and Design.... It is back to the bench in Studio 5, and back to the Booker Binding 'If I Survive You' by Jonathan Escoffery.
With the forwarding nearing the end, much sanding of areas of the book to ensure a smooth as the structure will be a variation of the minimalist tight back style I have been working on. It is not often that what is under the skin (as it were) of a book. Now it is time to concentrate on the design, so the experimentation with colour, image and material use begins.
The image is from a very famous Jamaican Tourist Board poster of the 1970's with various colour applications using a variety of mediums.
The design is formulated but there will be a little bit of chaos thrown in as well.
Please note.... there are other studios/binderies/ doing stuff, spelling and grammar. Please further note, the opinion of the author may change at any moment. This is due to having an open mind of sorts.

 

 

Friday 13 October 2023

The Telephone Call

 My biblionautic chums and friends.

Finally, 'The telephone Call' is finished, box and all.
Images include a selection of images and the doublures.
Binding. A Minimalist Flat Tight Back with goat skin to the spine and palimpsest parchment to front and back boards. Lino print to front board. In-set laminated board attachment.
Construction. A 2 section, secondary sewn text block to linen. Leather jointed made end papers to edge to edge doublures. Binder’s/Artist’s stamp to bottom right back doublure.
Text Block. Hahnemuhle Burga Butten paper with multiple hand cut and printed Lino Cuts. Hand set and printed title page and colophon. Spray/stencil work.

(H x W x D)  298mm x 276mm x 11mm
 
Please note.... there are other studios/binderies/ doing stuff, spelling and grammar. Please further note, the opinion of the author may change at any moment. This is due to having an open mind of sorts.