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March 22, 2019

Making a Coptic Watercolor Sketchbook

My major reason for making books is to have a watercolor sketchbook that meets my needs, and isn't expensive to make.  I make cased in books with dyed fabric covers for my standard watercolor sketchbooks, but this month my bookbinding student and I made Coptic books.  They also open flat.

I made this book with a single sheet of Fabriano Artistico 140 lb soft press paper (3 signatures with 2 folios for a total of 24 pages) and a paste paper cover.  It is approx. 7.5 inches square and watercolor can be used on the front and back of each page. The paste paper was made with a corn starch recipe and inexpensive acrylic paint.  The end paper is a piece of decorative paper in a similar color.  The stitching was done with 3 ply linen thread.  

Coptic Book


I chose this stitching method because there are two loops of thread through each cover hole, and the last signature and the front cover are sewn on separately.




End Paper



We used a large awl to make the holes and it was hard to punch through the cover binder boards.  I'd love to know how easy it is to punch holes into Lineco 0.067 binders board with a Japanese screw punch - and what size punch is best.  This is only my 4th Coptic book in 5 years, so I haven't invested in one.

March 19, 2019

Chelsea Art Galleries March 1, 2019

Jasper Johns: Recent Paintings and Works on Paper

Matthew Marks Gallery has a wonderful exhibit of Jasper Johns art until April 6th.  I like his art more with every exhibit I see, and I chose to combine some of his well known images, to remember my visit to the gallery with my friends Pat and Benedicte. 



Jacob Lawrence: We saw this exhibit at DC Moore Gallery one day before it closed.  Jacob Lawrence did 41 tempera paintings in 1938 on the Life of Toussaint L'Overture, leader of a rebellion in Haiti, followed by a campaign to draft Haiti's first democratic constitution.  Between 1986 and 1997 Lawrence made siik screen prints of 15 of the paintings and a complete set was in the exhibit.  This one depicts him opening the rebellion charge.


March 16, 2019

The B-Side at St. Ann's Warehouse - Dumbo

This week we saw The B-Side at St. Ann's Warehouse in Dumbo, Brooklyn.  Eric Berryman, actor, was inspired by a similar show of Shaker Spirituals, and the Director of that show for the Wooster Group directed this performance.  For one hour, Eric and two back-up singers, sang Negro Folklore Work Songs by Prisoners at the Texas State Penitentiary.  The record on which this was based was produced in 1964.  We really enjoyed it, and dinner at Cecconis was excellent.



March 13, 2019

Experimental Screen Printing - Project 3

These are the designs for my next two silk screens at my Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) Experimental Screen Printing class.  For Project 3, we needed to prepare designs for two screens, one with a design/drawing and the other with only typography.  When the screens are printed, the images will need to be accurately placed (registered), so the designs are printed perfectly together.  This image is a composite:  I layered my two designs, each taped to a piece of vellum, clipped them together, and then took the photo as a reference. 

One layer has my figure and the 3 black stripes.  The other layer has my calligraphy printed on acetate, cut into pieces, and taped to the vellum with clear tape.  I just wanted to see the superimposed images before going to class tonight to make the actual silk screens.



The image on the right is the original figure, created last year as a collage.  I sketched a fashion model and then cut out black and gray paper to collage on my drawing from that fashion illustration class.  This weekend I traced the collage, made patterns for the pieces, and cut the parts out of black paper and a sheet of text from a word processor that was printed on acetate for the blouse. 


It will take most of my 4 hour class tonight to learn how to register my two designs, and then register them, coat my screens with photoemulsion liquid, dry them for 30 minutes, transfer my designs to the screens in the exposure unit, wash them thoroughly, dry them for 20 minutes, and then tape the screens for printing.  I wrote this just so I can remember!!

My classmates, who are taking the course for credit, need to turn in 3 registered prints in 2 weeks. 


March 10, 2019

Flag Book for Samples of My Paste Paper

In 2013 I challenged myself to make a different book structure each month, and in March of that year made a Flag Book of my Paste Paper Samples.  While looking at the Facebook page today I saw another flag book with flags of paste paper.  So I'm reposting mine on my blog.
Flag books were introduced in the 1970s by Hedi Kyle and it is said to be the "most influential structure in the world of contemporary bookmaking."  I personally love to see the flags flutter into place as the book is opened and the spine is extended.
I took a one day Paste Paper class with Lynn Gall at the Center for Book Arts and decided to use pieces of my paste papers to make the flag book - covers, end papers, and flags.  Now I will have a book of samples to play with because I decided that I loved making paste papers for bookbinding!!


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