The Mushroom Collector

I made this book recently and am very happy with how it turned out. I like the icy blue bookcloth. It's called The Mushroom Collector. It's available here, on etsy. 

:: vintage book illustration of mushrooms ::

:: cover ::

 :: vintage nature photograph of a beaver on a library card holder ::

 :: 100% cotton paper ::

 :: top of the book, light orange headband ::

Lynx and Stars

I made this custom book for a very talented lady, who requested a journal with lynxes, graph paper, stars, and red. I decided to try something a little different and made the book with a soft curved spine. It turned out to be one of my favorite books I've made in a really long time.

:: vintage book illustration of a lynx ::

 :: the milky way, and letterpresses name plate ::

 :: typewriter stars ::

 :: curved spine ::

:: lynx ::

My sketchbook

Sometimes people tell me they are afraid to use a handmade book. I tell them I make them to be used and that I think they only grow more interesting and beautiful with use.

This is a book I made for myself about six years ago.

The covers are made from an old book. They were already quite worn.

I inset a vintage photograph into the front cover. The owl is original to the old book covers.

:: sketches, left, illustration, right ::

I dyed the pages with black walnut dye and bound six the original illustrations into the new text block. Those are some cat sketches.

This is an autograph from Crispin Hellion Glover. He makes books too. I'm a fan.

A friend gave me this stamp of a fox, which I glued to the back cover.

There's no wrong way to use a handmade book. You can use it for your grocery lists or your diary, your notes for class or your drawings, and if you like, you can put it on a shelf and look at it when it pleases you. Anything you do is right.

News and Notes

No not the NPR program. News and notebooks! Slim little notebooks to slip into your purse or coat. With sweet rounded corners and light grey paper inside. They will be on sale in my shop starting tomorrow.

: recycled paper letterpress notebooks :

I really can't believe that it's been two weeks since I've posted and that it's almost February. Mike and I will be going to Philadelphia in a couple weeks to look for an apartment. Apartment shopping in Philadelphia can be a bit..mmmh...interesting. Sometimes the closet door has been punched in and there's cat food on the floor (true story). So we're crossing our fingers. And so should you! I know that dreamy apartment is out there. Just have to find it.

So where have I been for two weeks. I'm not really sure. I've been here and there. And reading this.

And I watched this! So good.

And boy, did I spend a lot of time doing these little beauties.

: a set of handmade recipe cards :

Penland wanted some handmade gifts for their donors, so I made these letterpress recipe cards. Each set includes four Penland recipes and four blank cards for them to share their own favorite recipes. It was by far, the biggest print job I've had to do so far. 2,000 recipe cards. It was a challenge, but I feel like I learned a great deal. Like to how simplify a design for production without compromising what makes it work.

: chocolate banana bread :

And finally...the big news. I got a board shear! A wood top 40" T.W. & C.B. Sheridan Co. board shear, something I've been looking for. You could say wishing for. Mike and I will be picking it up when we go up to Philly.

: see you soon, good lookin' :

I felt it would be really be a great addition to a new studio. I really enjoy making hardcover books, portfolios, and boxes, and this shear will make that much easier.

I'm getting excited, excited to start working on my
press and finding a studio space. Excited that we'll be living in a city, and to reconnect with friends. Things will be getting hectic as we get ready to move, but I'll keep you updated. Thanks for reading.

The 47 Cent Chinatown Book

Brutal economy. That's what this book is. The thriftiest depiction of a book I have yet to see and that gives it a special place in my collection of books. The cover is speckled brown kraft paper cover with impressed red printing. Inside the book, the pages are doubled, perhaps because the paper is so thin. The yellowish sheets have the delicate feeling and color of a much more valuable paper like kozo. I wish I knew more about the green squares printed inside, but I don't. It probably has something to do with chinese characters. However, my ignorance does add to its charm as an object for me. The part of this book that makes it especially interesting though is the way it is sewn. Not by hand, but straight across the cover with a sewing machine. Of course!

As I was looking around for information notebooks, I found a delightful blog by Jennifer Hsu called The Museum of Notebooks, entirely dedicated to collecting of notebooks. Jennifer has some beautiful examples like this one, one of my favorites...

Notebooks are beautiful objects and a big inspiration for my work. Small, subtle and often ingenious in their design, they're made to be used and carried and are even more interesting after they have been. I've been thinking about them a lot lately.

I have the next two weeks off from class and I hope to produce some of my own during that time. So stay tuned.