Saturday 23 November 2019

A new book. Marilyn Monroe

My biblionaughtic chums, a new book. Marilyn Monroe (born Norma Jeane Mortenson; June 1, 1926 – August 4, 1962). A true icon (for many) of the 20th century. Monroe's troubled private life received much attention. She struggled with substance abuse, depression, and anxiety. Her second and third marriages, to retired baseball star Joe DiMaggio and playwright Arthur Miller, were highly publicized and both ended in divorce. On August 4, 1962, she died at age 36 from an overdose of barbiturates at her home in Los Angeles. Although Monroe's death was ruled a probable suicide, several conspiracy theories have been proposed in the decades following her death.
A day of printing and image manipulation.

There are so many artists that have used this image on the past... it is a manipulated image... re - appropriated. Re - appropriationcan be traced back to the collages and constructions of Picasso and Braque from 1912 on, in which real objects such as newspapers were included to represent themselves. The practice was developed much further in the readymades created by the French artist Marcel Duchamp from 1915. Most notorious of these was Fountain, a men’s urinal signed, titled, and presented on a pedestal. Later, surrealism also made extensive use of appropriation in collages and objects such as Salvador DalĂ­’s Lobster Telephone. In the late 1950s appropriated images and objects appear extensively in the work of Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg, and in pop art.

However, the term seems to have come into use specifically in relation to certain American artists in the 1980s, notably Sherrie Levine and the artists of the Neo-Geo group particularly Jeff Koons. Sherrie Levine reproduced as her own work other works of art, including paintings by Claude Monet and Kasimir Malevich. Her aim was to create a new situation, and therefore a new meaning or set of meanings, for a familiar image.

Appropriation art raises questions of originality, authenticity and authorship, and belongs to the long modernist tradition of art that questions the nature or definition of art itself. Appropriation artists were influenced by the 1934 essay by the German philosopher Walter Benjamin, The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, and received contemporary support from the American critic Rosalind Krauss in her 1985 book The Originality of the Avant-Garde and Other Modernist Myths.

Re-appropriation/appropriation has been used extensively by artists since the 1980's.
Still some more work to do but the main work is done.

Please note there are other ways of doing things and opinions..... 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.

Biblionaughtic Customer Service... John Purcell Paper, of Brixton, London. UK

My Biblionaughtic Chums, it is not often I do this... However, when it is due it is due. Yesterday, at about 3 - 3.30pm I was on the telephone talking with a very knowledgeable person about my paper requirements. After a very informative and pleasant conversation I ordered some paper along with a few small sample pieces of papers. As I am lucky enough (Ha lucky... very high rents for space, expensive travel.. etc etc. I know there are pluses but it is no bed of roses. Everywhere has it pros and cons)
Back to the track Mark..... As I am lucky enough to have a studio in London the delivery is free.. I asked when my materials may be delivered.. the reply was early next week..was it ok? ... Yes of course it is ok.. It is free and I had ordered the minimum amount possible.

Just before 3pm today, a knock at the door, polite knock, not just push the door. I open the door.. and lo and behold the man from John Purcell Paper of Brixton. In his hands my materials and many more than a few samples. Fantastic service. Thank you J P P.
I know there are many specialist companies that offer good service, this is just one example. It is important for us, the users, to take time to acknowledge when stuff goes right.
Thank you to all our suppliers who make it possible for us that make and do to be able to make and do.
Please note there are other ways of doing things and opinions..... 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.

Thursday 21 November 2019

A Studio 5 health warning... A recent poster from the Studio 5 Press

Measuring a healthy 59cm x 33cm the 'say NO to SNOT' Studio 5 Poster is hand printed on the Studio 5 proofing press on 5 Seasons recycled, acid free paper. Signed by the printer.. that would be me then... and are for sale at a very reasonable price... please contact directly for further details.

Wednesday 20 November 2019

A Cloth Case Binding in need of repair

A Cloth Case Binding in need of repair... seriously. I do not just do the sexy stuff. For many years I stood at the bench doing restoration and repair.
By and large I feel that Cloth Case Bindings are overlooked, of no worth when compared with leather bound books. The amount of times I have had to spend hours on some book or other, saving a plain leather binding, with red rot or some other nasty.... when what would have been better for the book was to do a sympathetic rebinding. Keeping the integrity of the original work and style etc... but no... "Its old/antique/vintage leather and must therefore be saved at all costs" I know of no 14th century, thatched house that has the original thatching... it gets replaced.
Before everyone gets on the high horse... I realise, of course that there are many leather bindings that are of merit for a plethora of reasons and should be kept, cherished and saved as intact as possible to the book.
But, and this is the rub..... There are countless times when I am working on a book.... leather... and upon examination... lo and behold...... it has been repaired/restored before. Now that raises an question... so I ask the client....' What would you like me to do? repair/restore the original that is hidden under the repair/restoration that was done about 120(or whatever) years previously.... or would you like me to repair/restore the restoration that you can see and what everyone else for the last 120(or whatever) years, has been looking at?'
I digress... back to the simple world of the humble cloth case binding.
The joy of having a good education, an education in bookbinding and conservation that was both broad and in depth, taught by serious practitioners is something I never underestimate.
The first thing I do is to really check the book over. Note all elements that require attention or are unusual. I then look at the papers, cloth and the board and spine lining material and makeup. What is important to the book and the client. Sometimes one of there needs educating as to what is important and what is possible.
The paste downs and end papers are of a Bible Paper with a fugitive colouring. The notation on the inner end papers and the book plate are important and will be kept. The boards are made from straw (this is commonly referred to as Straw Board) being acidic and brittle these will be replaced along with the spine piece... of some form of generic heavy paper.
The text block is removed from the case, the case is then cleaned with a draft cleaner to remove surface dirt. It is at this point that all the relevant measurements are taken, position of the plate etc.
The plate is removed, turn-ins exposed and eased back. The method is simple, instead of taking the book-cloth off the board... I take the board off the cloth. Layer by layer, lifting the board.. gently, gently.
My tool of choice is a Victorian, steel butter knife. Mine happens to be made by Garrard's, Cutlers to her Majesty, Queen Victoria.... thus over one hundred years old. And still very sharp.
Though this may look simple it is, in fact, not simple. Practice and a really good understanding of the materials is paramount. This sort of treatment should not be done without serious consideration of what and how one continues and to keep in mind the integrity of the book, the original intention and of course the original maker's hand.
Please note that the cloth is supported to prevent further damage. Next will be to back the original cloth.
Please note there are other ways of doing things and opinions..... 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.