Author Archives: bigriverbindery

Wine and Valentine Pressure Printing

Join us for a fun afternoon of printing in the studio. We’ll be making pressure prints, a method similar to rubbings. A type-high block is set in the press bed, and a handmade low-relief plate – in this case your collaged shapes and words – is inserted behind the printing paper. The higher the relief, the darker that area is. It’s a quick and simple way of making images and text. Unlike most printing, the text and imagery don’t have to be reversed.

Enjoy a FREE glass of wine (21 and older) while you work the presses.

Participants will take home 5 handmade prints and bragging rights that you printed it yourself. It’s a drop-in event, so come by anytime during the event to make a print.

Saturday, February 3, 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm, $15 for the afternoon.

Register now by sending us an e-mail (bigriverbindery@gmail.com). Your registration fees can be paid on-site via cash, check, or card.

 

Bookbinding on the airwaves

Today I returned to WVIK, one of our local NPR stations, for an interview on the show Scribble. Hosts Don Wooten and Ronald Tweet talk about books, poetry, and now… the making of books. I had a fun time and think they did as well.

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Listen to 90.3 FM in the Quad Cities on Saturday at noon, or on the website soon after at http://wvik.org/programs/scribble

If you missed my last interview at WVIK with Bruce Carter in the fall of 2014, it can be found at http://wvik.org/post/art-talks-book-artist-andrew-huot

 

FIREWORKS broadside

Fireworks broadside

The Broadside started as an announcement or poster, a sheet of paper printed on one side. Now most broadsides are printed text (often poetry) combined with artwork. I recently was commissioned to print a broadside by the Midwest Writers Center in Davenport. The broadsides they produce are related to poetry prizes that they award to Midwest writers. The Center gave me a wide latitude in how I produced the work.

I started with some rough drafts, using a computer and and a layout program. I was going to use hand set type and hand made illustrations, but the computer lets us try things out and play with ease. Printing out a hard copy can let you visualize the space on the page and is quicker than inking up the press.

Screen Shot

Once I had a general idea in mind, I started setting type. I chose a typeface that was fun but easy to read. I want the viewer to read the poem and not just look at the imagery. I checked the line length of the poem, and arranged the line length of the lead to match it. Composing in lead is slow, letter by letter. I enjoy setting type, it’s meditative and quiet work. You read the text time and again, and get to know it better.

Type in stick

For the tree scape at the bottom of the print, I carved the landscape in linoleum using carving tools. I start with a photograph or drawing, transfer the image with carbon paper, and carve away. It’s important to remember to reverse the image before you carve, as the printing process reverses the carved block.

Press form

The elements are laid out in the press bed, and wood blocks called furniture fill in the open spaces. Small clamps, called quoins, lock everything in place. The press is inked up, test prints are made, and we go to town. My test prints showed me that the layout was a bit tight, so I made a quick adjustment of the wood type.

Press form 2

I also found out that the author’s name wouldn’t fit like I wanted, so I would add that as an additional run through the press. Here you can see the single line of type set in the press bed.

Press form 4

I wanted to add some color for the fireworks, and used the pressure print process. A type high block was placed in the bed of the press and inked up. A low relief plate was made using cord and card. The high elements of the plate press more against the inked block, and create darker areas. Some adjustments in thickness of the block allow more or less of the fuzzy background image. I used a cut stencil to control the color printing on the paper. A second run with a second color finishes the printing. 

Pressure_print_stencil

Some time at the paper cutter trimming down and the broadside is done. 

You should read more of Therese Guise’s poetry (in the recently published OFF CHANNEL 5) and see about the Midwest Writers Center at http://www.mwcqc.org/.

Pint & Print – Pressure Print Valentine

pint print smJoin us for another fun evening of pints and printing in the studio. This time we’ll be making pressure prints, a method similar to rubbings. A type-high block is set in the press bed, and a handmade low-relief plate – in this case your collaged shapes and words – is inserted behind the printing paper. The higher the relief, the darker that area is. It’s a quick and simple way of making images and text. Unlike most printing, the text and imagery don’t have to be reversed.

Enjoy a FREE local beer (21 and older) while you work the presses.
Participants will take home 4 handmade prints and bragging rights that you printed it yourself. $20 for the evening (additional prints $1 each).

Thursday, February 5, 7pm to 9pm
Register now by sending us an e-mail (bigriverbindery@gmail.com). Your registration fees can be paid on-site via cash or check.

Radish magazine award

safe_imageI recently was asked to create an artist book as an award to community members and groups by Radish Magazine. Instead of a plaque, they commission artwork from a local artist each year. The January issue of Radish just came out, and my carrousel book is on the cover. You can see it here. You can also see an article about the bindery and our work.

Print your own letterpress holiday cards

Pints & Prints – Letterpress Holiday Card pint & print setup

Join Big River Bindery for an evening of letterpress printing and holiday cheer. Both presses will be set up so you can print your own two-color holiday cards. Enjoy a FREE local beer (21 and older) while you work the presses.

Participants will take home 5 handmade cards and bragging rights that you printed it yourself.

$20 for the evening (additional cards $1 each).

Thursday, December 4th, 7pm to 9pm

Register now by sending us (bigriverbindery@gmail.com) an e-mail or FB message. Your registration fees can be paid on-site via cash or check.

Workshops open at Big River Bindery

3670169711_59685df2df_oNow that we’ve finished the grand opening and we’re all cleaned up, it’s time to offer some workshops. We have three workshops this fall and we’d love you to join us. Learn how to make historic or modern bindings, good for sketchbooks, journals, or gifts for the upcoming holiday season. We also have a one night workshop to let you try out the tools and materials, and you’ll still go home with a few little books as well.

The specific dates and how to register are available on our website at https://bigriverbindery.com/26-2/.

 

The cobbler’s son gets a book back

Now the the boxes are unpacked (well, most of them), and the shop is mostly set up, it’s time to get down to work. One of my first projects was a pro bono project on a children’s book, belonging to my son, Ethan.

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Books with flaps regularly have problems, especially when handled my small hands. You can here that one has become detached from the page beneath. We wanted to catch that right away, before we lost the flap.

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Since this will still be in use, an adhesive that is strong and quick to dry was used. PVA (Polyvinyl alcohol) is a synthetic glue that has been tested to be safe for long term use, and is common in bookbinding and general collections conservation. Application of a thin layer with a soft brush was all it needed.

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Once applied, we wanted to dry the page under pressure, to avoid warping while the repair dried. A plexiglass board and weight applied the right amount of pressure.

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By the end of the day, the book will be back in Ethan’s hands. Not the most complex conservation treatment for the week, but I’m happy that my son won’t go shoeless (or bookless) for too long.

Grand Opening

typeJoin us for the grand opening of Big River Bindery.

We’re unpacking the boxes, and putting the type away. Try your hand at making a folded pamphlet book or printing on the letterpress. We’ll be showing examples of the book repair and conservation, boxes and bindings, and some of the artists’ books and prints we’ve made.

Big River Bindery
230 W 15th St
Davenport, IA 52803

Saturday, Nov 1, 2014
3:00 – 7:00 pm