Sarah Smith To Be Printer in Residence at University of Otago (NZ)

We’re pleased to announce that Sarah Smith has been selected to be the 2016 Printer in Residence at the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.  Sarah is the Book Arts Special Instructor in our Book Arts Workshop, and during Spring Term 2015 is teaching a class in Dartmouth’s Studio Arts department. Photo of Sarah Smith

Sarah will begin her 6-week residency in Dunedin in August 2016, and will be located in the Otakou Press Room in the University of Otago Library. This prestigious residency has run since 2003, and includes the production of a limited edition book. For more information see Overview of The Printer in Residence at the University of Otago.

You can see examples of Sarah’s work at her website, Olfactory Press.

We look forward to this residency strengthening a growing partnership between the Otago Book Arts program and ours.

The Making of a Multi-Color Linoleum Block Squid

Students and community members can learn how to carve and print relief blocks here in the Book Arts Workshop. Usually we work with linoleum blocks, but wood, rubber (more for rubber stamping than running through a press), Sintra board and other relief printing materials are fair game as well.

This image of a sledding squid came about as a drawing in my sketch book, then became the idea for a simple holiday card. Of course nothing stays simple and it soon became a three-color, three-block linoleum relief print. Here’s a little about how it was created—at least the printing process—where the idea came from is hard to say.

1) The Sketchbook Drawing

Here’s the drawing as it appears in my sketchbook.

2) Draw on Block

First I drew the image in pencil onto a 3 x 5 mounted linoleum block—remembering it had to be backwards or wrong-reading, so it could be right-reading in the print. Since this is a view of a ski hill near our house, I wanted it going downhill to the right—like my view (seems I drew it going the wrong way in my sketchbook!).

Once I had what I wanted, I went over the drawing with ink.

I use a dip pen and ink to draw on my blocks because I like the thick and thin quality of the line, which I follow when carving. A sharpie works nicely too. Best to use a regular tip Sharpie rather than a fine tip because you’ll want to have thicker lines to carve. Very thin lines will be weak in linoleum—and not very forgiving if you don’t have a steady hand.

3) Tone Block

Toning the block makes it easier to see where I’ve carved or not. A thin layer of ink or paint works nicely. There’s drying time involved with ink or paint (oil paint anyway). This time I used a marker that was handy. I ended up liking the color so much that I matched my first print color to it! In this photo you can see where I began carving the block after the toned color dried.

4) Carve Block

I carved the first block making a few decisions and edits to the drawing along the way—carving the lines in the sky, adding the trees at the edge of the hill and other small things. Because it’s a relief print, I cut out all the areas that I didn’t want to print. You can see in this photo I still had some carving on the sled and the snow to do, but it was almost done.

You can use linoleum carving tools like the ones Speedball sells or you can use wood carving tools. For something this small I like to use my set of Dockyard Micro Carving Tools. You can get them online from Woodcraft. Any set of small wood carving v and u gouges should also work well. McClain’s in Portland OR has some really great tools especially for print-makers. Here are the Dockyard Micro Carving Tools.

5) Print First Color

Once my block was carved, leaving the surfaces I wanted to ink and print raised, I printed a proof with my first color.
To print the block I locked it up on the bed of our Vandercook SP15.

I cut my paper so it would be over sized. It’s easier to print a larger sheet of paper on the Vandercook, so I didn’t want to cut my paper to the finished size before printing.
After I printed a proof and carved a few unpleasant stray bits off my image I printed the run of my first color—the dark blue-green.

Usually I would print light colors first, then dark, but after Gaylord Schanilec suggested printing dark to light during a wood engraving class I took with him at Oregon College of Art and Craft this past summer, I thought I’d try it with my linoleum block. The idea is that the build up of inks will create a richer black or dark ink. This works best with transparent inks.

6) Transfer First Block Image to Second Block

When I finished printing the first run and before I cleaned the ink off the block and press I transferred the inked image onto a blank linoleum block of the same size. This would be my guide for carving the block for the next color—the light green-blue. To do this I ran the press over the block without paper, thereby printing the block right onto the mylar we always have around the cylinder of the press as the draw-sheet and part of the packing.

Then I removed the first color block and put the blank block in its place on the press bed. I ran the press over this block, transferring the ink from the mylar to the uncarved block.

I carefully took the inked, uncarved block off the press and set it aside to dry over night.

7) Carve Second Color Block

With the image transferred onto the new block, I traced with a sharpie where I wanted my new color to be in relation to the already printed first color. In other words, I traced around the snow, the cloud, inside the squid’s eye and just delineated everywhere I wanted the new color and where I didn’t want it. Then I carved just as I did before to create the block for the new color.

In this photo you can see this step as I did it for the third color block.

Here it is printed by itself so you can get an idea of what I carved and left raised to print.

The ink is a rubber-based ink with quite a bit of transparent base (or transparent white) mixed in with color I made. The transparent base is like the ink without the pigment-just transparent goo. This makes for a lighter, transparent color.

8) Print Second Color

I set up the second block in the same exact position on the press bed as the first block. I had to break down the press in between runs, so I made careful notes and measurements of where everything was before taking apart my lock-up. It also helps to take pictures to make it easier to rebuild the lock-up. With everything in place I made a proof—admired my work and removed the unwanted bits. Once I had what I wanted I printed the second color.

9) Transfer First Block Again

To prepare for the third color block I transferred ink from the first block onto another blank uncarved block. The block that prints the darkest color and most detail is called the “key block”—in this case it was the first block. I wanted to use the key block to guide me in my carving for the third color because it had the most information or detail. I think for this print the second block would have worked well to transfer from too, but that’s not always the case.

10) Carve Third Block Color

Once I had the image on the third block, I was able to carve away everything but the squid where I wanted the pinkish color to be. Here’s a picture of all three carved blocks.

I considered leaving some block raised under the squid so there would be a pinkish shadow under him on the toboggan, but decided against it. I think the squid “pops” more without it. I also debated on whether I wanted to have his suction cups pink or white. To make them white I would have to carve out those little spots again, like I did on the first block. In the end I decided to carve just a tiny bit of those spots out, so there would be a small white highlight on the suction cups. When the blocks are registered perfectly (lined up perfectly) these highlights work great!

Here’s what just the third color block looks like printed by itself.

You may be wondering how I got such a fabulous squid-pink. Again I used transparent base to make a transparent color. I also used a bit of Rhodomine red, Pantone yellow, Irish Mint green (we have a lot of dark green here!), a good amount of the mixed light blue I used for the second block and probably some other things. It was a bit of a potion, but just what I wanted.

11) Print Third Color

Having gotten everything set in the same place again (block, paper, paper guides, furniture), I printed the third color. I’m particularly excited by the highlights and areas where all three colors are visible. All in all it looks like a happy squid.

Written by Sarah Smith

Attachments: Book Arts Style

My last post discussed attachments with a conservation focus. Sometimes the creative possibilities are more important than the archival ones, or piercing holes in items is part of the artwork itself. In that case, here are some further ideas to attach loose items onto a page or in a book.

Just keep in mind that some of the methods below may create permanent changes in the mounted item and are not recommended for valuable, historic, or borrowed materials. Consider the long-term effects of any of these before using in your own projects.
As we saw in the last post (July 22) these were some options for attaching loose items to pages:

Paper clips:

Historically paper clips were made of metal, but those can be prone to rust over time in certain environmental conditions. Alternative shapes to the classic double loop include this dog and the circle. Those made from plastic or coated wire are also commonly available. The binder’s clip is useful for thicker materials. Both paper and binder’s clips come in a variety of sizes.

Eyelets:

 

This creates a hole in both the page and the item attached. It requires an eyelet setter such as this one often available where craft or sewing notions are sold.

Brads: 

Brads usually come in a brass colored metal, but are also available in mini sizes and in a variety of colors. Some even have a shaped head, such as a star or square, like this one.  Brads, like eyelets and staples, create holes in both item and page.
Staples: These can be hard to remove without causing damage.
Adhesive: Paste and Glue
Adhesives are generally a permanent method of attachment, whether glues, double-sided tapes, or dry-mount adhesives.  Pastes (as opposed to glue) are generally reversible, however they often leave evidence of their application and use.
Pockets & Envelopes:

Loose pockets or envelopes can be attached by a variety of methods, like any loose item. They can also be incorporated into an album during its creation by sewing them in as part of a section or in binding of single sheets. Extensions (or guards) can be attached to the binding edge to allow for ease of use, like in this example where the purple extension is sewn in on the binding edge of the brown envelope. This album is bound with screw posts.
Slits and slots:

Photo corners:

Snaps:

 

These plastic snaps are a scrap-booking item, and operate much like a traditional sewn snap, but are attached more like a brad. A tiny hole is made in both item and page. The two parts of the snap are inserted through from front and back and “snap” together holding them in place.
Screw posts:

Screw posts are much like eyelets, as holes must be made in both item and page. They can hold thin to very thick items, and come in a variety of metals. These are usually used for binding, with extensions available to adapt the original to hold a collection of expanding material. But they can be used for putting a single item onto a page. These are often available at hardware and stationary stores.

Adhesive: Tape
All kinds of tape can work: traditional adhesive tapes such as medical paper adhesive tape, electrical, masking, double-sided, or cellophane. Newer products like colorful washi tape can also be used highlighting the attachment or construction while at the same time adding decoration. Just keep in mind that all tapes have adhesive that is extremely difficult if not impossible to remove.
Needle and Thread:

By machine or hand sewing a needle and thread can attach paper together not just cloth. Paper is not as forgiving of mistakes when sewing, but it works well for many things. I’d recommend testing the paper, needle size and type, and thread combination with the intended materials before embarking on a big project.
Buttons:

Attached with thread, buttons can also be used with a paper page to attach items. To help avoid tearing through the paper, sew a small piece of Tyvek behind the button to reinforce the attachment. Old shipping envelopes can be cut up for this purpose. The button can be used to help secure the thread attachment, sewing through the item and page, or it can be used with a buttonhole if the item can be cut into and has enough flexibility and strength to do so. Often flat buttons are most useful, especially if they will go into some kind of book or album. Stores that sell scrapbook supplies often have such flat, decorative buttons, and these are available at sewing stores as well.
Paper Frames:

Like pockets and envelopes, paper frames can be attached to a page as a means to hold a photo or bound in as pages when binding a new album. These frames can be folded to fit a photo and hold it in place without using adhesive.

This photo shows the reverse side of the frame above.

As I mentioned in my last post, with all these attachment methods remember to keep the spine and foredge of your book balanced with regard to the thickness of your added items. Doing so will help you avoid the foredge splaying out and the book not closing. When creating a new binding, stubs can be added at the spine to accommodate the addition of items over time.

I hope these suggestions prove helpful. I often collect small pieces of paper or ephemera, especially as reference for future projects. Sometimes I just toss these into a box, but perhaps I ought to create a “book of inspiration” using some of these attachment methods. Like commonplace books of the past, my book would be both personal and useful. What kinds of uses do you see for these attachments? What other attachment methods do you find helpful?

Written by Stephanie Wolff

Attachments: Conservation

This spring a scrapbook compiled by the Dartmouth Educational Association came in for some minimal repairs. This archival volume is a bound book with numbered pages. It holds a collection of loose items that have been added to the book over time. Scrapbook compilers have not always given consideration to the long-term effects of their methods, often choosing materials they have on hand. That’s likely the case with this volume, because only one of the methods (paper clip) doesn’t alter the item. Its contents, though, are in pretty good shape. Despite its overfilled pages, the book needed little more than a spine repair. I thought I would highlight some of the attachment methods used in this volume, concerns about their use, as well as share some tips for attaching loose items to pages with an eye toward longer-term preservation of those items.

Paper Clips and Brads:

On this page, both a paper clip (the triangular silver metal piece) and a brad (the brass-colored item) have been used. Both are made of metal, which can be prone to rust over time in certain environmental conditions. (Though no rust was found here.) The brad also requires a hole in both the item and the page in which to place the flanges. Modern paper clips are available in plastic or coated metal that should not rust. Be careful of causing creases in the paper if using paper clips, and choose the proper size to accommodate the thickness of the papers.

Eyelets:

Interestingly, eyelets were used in this album. I imagine they were attached using an eyelet setter like this classic Bates Eyeleter. This method requires a hole in both the page and the item attached, similar to the brad attachment. Even without moisture to create rust, it’s possible for metal to discolor or damage the paper on a facing page as a result of friction or pressure.
Staples:

 

Some of the items were stapled onto the pages. Staples create holes in the item as well as the pages and can be hard to remove without causing damage to both. They are also made of metal and therefore can rust in a humid environment.

Adhesive: Paste or Glue

It’s hard to tell whether this card was attached with paste or glue. Adhesives are a pretty permanent method of attachment. Some pastes (as opposed to glues) are often reversible, however they can leave evidence of their use.
The items that were attached to these pages used some kind of permanent alteration to the item itself (application of adhesive or holes in the paper) except for the paper clip. When considering which attachment method to use in a similar type of album these days, here are a few other options that do not require applying glue to or piercing holes into the item, though they require glue or holes in the album page itself.

Slits and slots:  

To mount a photograph or other flat item onto a book page, make cuts in the base paper (a slit) or remove a narrow slice of paper (a slot) for thicker material. By locating these cuts diagonally at the four corners, the item can be slipped in and will stay without any adhesive.

Photo corners:

Photo corners come in a variety of styles: self-adhesive, gummed, clear, black or white paper, and they can easily be made by hand. Look for ones that pass the P.A.T. test (photo activity test) or have archival qualities, such as being made from acid-free materials. To make your own corners take a thin strip of acid-free paper (about 1/4-inch), at the center of the strip fold one side up at a 45-degree angle.

Then fold the other side up to meet and match the first side. Now you have a corner. Vary the thickness of the paper strip to change the size of the corner for larger or smaller photos. Once the corner is created, use acid-free tape or adhesive to attach to the mounting page or board. These can be used for other flat items as well as photographs.

A simple way of positioning the corners is to use the photo (or a facsimile of the photo of identical size and thickness) as a placeholder. Determine the location of the photo on the page and place a clean weight on top of it to hold in place. Next slip the four corners onto the photo. Then remove one corner, add or activate the adhesive and place back onto the photo and press down to attach to the page. Then do the same to the corner diagonally opposite the first corner. This will stabilize the photo. Continue with the remaining two corners and remove the weight when done.
Pockets & Envelopes:

Pockets or envelopes (choose ones made of acid-free materials) are a great way to add loose items to a page. They can be handmade or purchased and can be paper or clear Mylar. Mylar allows a view of the item without removing it. Use an acid-free adhesive (like glue or double-sided tape) to attach pockets and envelopes to the page.

With all these methods remember to accommodate the thickness of the items added to a bound volume by balancing the binding edge thickness with the foredge thickness to avoid the foredge splaying out and the book not closing. For just a few items this shouldn’t be a problem.
In my next post, on August 19th,  I’ll explore attachment methods more suited to a creative or book arts application.

Written by Stephanie Wolff

2014 Book Arts Prize Winners

The winners of the 2014 Book Arts Prize competition are:

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and What She Found There”, tied for Grand Prize.

“Alices Adventures in Wonderland and What She Found There”, inside.

Grand Prize:
Isana Skeete ‘14 for “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and What She Found There
and
Eva Petzinger ’15 for “The Ballad of Sir Remmy, Part 1

Gabrielle Pacia ’16, Honorable Mention for “Do Not Go Go”

Artist Book:
Stephanie Ng ’16 for “Disjointed

Maria Fernandez ’14, Honorable Mention for “La Biblioteca de Babel

Letterpress:
Eva Petzinger ’15 for “The Mapmaker

Bookbinding:
Isana Skeete ’14 for “Case Binding

Community Excellence:
Patricia Stone for “An Apple Gathering 

Tara Wray, Honorable Mention for “Come Again When You Can’t Stay So Long

Please stop by the Treasure Room just off The Baker Library main hall,  to view the other winners! This exhibit is not to be missed!

By Sarah Smith

“Cosmos”-politans

cosmosentryHappy National Library Week! We kicked off celebrations with an Edible Books Festival, held yesterday afternoon. Kresge staff submitted an entry: “Cosmos”-politans.

We were inspired by Carl Sagan’s Cosmos, and cosmopolitans were the perfect fit. We used jello to suspend edible glitter and candy in the glasses. For the space theme, we added asteroids (rock candy and chocolate rocks), alien saucers (satellite wafers), stars (candy stars, star confetti, origami stars, star shaped sprinkles), celestial bodies (bouncy balls), and rings (glow sticks).

Many people asked us for the recipe so here it is!

Edible Ingredients:

  • jello mix
  • candy stars
  • edible glitter
  • sugar pearls
  • star shaped sprinkles
  • silver sprinkles
  • lava balls (candy)
  • chocolate rocks
  • rock candy
  • red sour taffy
  • satellite wafers
  • lime
  • candy fruit slices
Decorations/Staging:

  • black table cloth
  • tray
  • martini glasses
  • origami stars
  • star confetti
  • glow stick bracelets
  • bouncy balls
  • Marvin the Martian
  • original book cover
  • parody book cover
  • sign holders
Steps:

  1. Prepare jello mix as directed on box. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until jello has gelled but not solidified.
  2. Stir in candy stars, edible glitter, sugar pearls, and star shaped sprinkles.
  3. Ladle into martini glasses and drop in a couple of lava balls for each glass. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  4. Set table with decorations as shown in photo.
  5. When the jello is set, sprinkle some more glitter/sprinkles and drop some chocolate rocks on top.
  6. Add lime slices, candy fruit slices, rock candy, satellite wafers, and/or red sour taffy to garnish.

rainbowfishAnd a big heartfelt congratulations to the winner of the People’s Choice category: Rainbow Fish by Jenny Bai, Diane Jang, and Juliana Park. Juliana is one of our student assistants! In fact, she was working at the front desk when the judges announced it.

Filed under: Astronomy, For Fun, Kresge, Library – General

Book Arts Prize Program 2014

The Book Arts Prize is a juried award given every year in recognition of excellence in the creation of a hand printed and bound book made in the Book Arts Studio by a Dartmouth College undergraduate or graduate student.  The cash prizes are made possible through the generosity of the Friends of the Library.

There are four prize categories:

Book Arts Grand Prize
Letterpress Printing
Hand Binding
Artist Book (new category)

The Book Arts Program is fortunate to enjoy the participation of local bookbinders, printers, and amateur book artists.  Again this year the competition will be open to the community to recognize and reward excellence in their work.

For complete details as well as the submission form go to the Book Arts Prize webpage.

All entries must be submitted by 4:00 pm, Friday, May 30.

Geographies: New England Book Work, the New England Chapter of The Guild of Book Workers 2014 – 2015 Exhibition

It’s exciting as book workers to apply our hand skills and creativity in projects outside of the regular work we do day-to-day. For some of us it means rebinding a book in a more decorative way than usual, for others it is using the entire book form as a means of artistic expression, both inside and out.
Three members of the Preservation Services staff, Deborah Howe, Sarah Smith, and Stephanie Wolff, exhibit new personal work in the New England Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers exhibition, Geographies: New England Book Work. The exhibition highlights members’ recent work whose content has a New England connection. It opened March 3rd at the Rhode Island School of Design’s Fleet Library. It then travels to The University of Southern Maine, University of Vermont, Williams College, Dartmouth College, and ends at the Creative Arts Workshop in New Haven, CT in the fall of 2015. Its Dartmouth College appearance is slated for April – August of 2015 in the Berry Library.

                                         Deborah Howe’s Reading the Forested Landscape

Deborah Howe bound a copy of Tom Wessels’ Reading the Forested Landscape. Deborah writes this about her book, “This is a rebinding of the text of Reading the Forested Landscape: A Natural History of New England by Tom Wessels and images by Brian Cohen. The materials chosen reminded me of the nature which the book is about. I had the wood veneer waiting to use it for the perfect project and this seemed like the one. The colors relate to the woods on a quiet slightly damp day.”

                          Sarah Smith’s A Map of New England, which Being… (book view)

Sarah Smith’s artist book A Map of New England, which Being in Some Places Defective, Shewing Particular Features from the Curious Woodcut Map of John Foster for William Hubbard in 1677: Presented by Percival & Byron and their Favorite Cartouches is a single sheet hand-drawn pen and ink map of New England, which can be read as a book or laid out flat for seeing the bigger picture of the region.
Sarah writes, “This book—currently a prototype intended for editioning—is inspired by the visual language of maps dating from before 1900. William Hubbard’s 1677 publication including “A Map of New England,” a woodcut carved and printed by John Foster was particularly inspiring. Some favorite features from the map are displayed in this book along with some cartouches (decorative “frames” which typically held a map’s title). Various historic maps and cherubs influenced the drawing of these cartouches. Percival and Byron assist in arraying the images on a map of New England and its modern boundaries.”

                       Sarah Smith’s A Map of New England, which Being… (flat open view)



                                                  Stephanie Wolff’s Sweet New England

Stephanie Wolff’s Sweet New England highlights a selection of confections that originated in the New England region, including the popular commercial treats Sugar Daddy, Necco Wafer, and Charleston Chew, and of course the classic New England sweet: maple sugar candy. Pages consist of hand-stenciled illustrations and letterpress printed text bound in a drum-leaf style, cloth case binding.
For more information about the exhibition, check out the Guild of Book Worker’s New England Chapter website.

Written by Stephanie Wolff

Goings on in The Book Arts Workshop!!

There have been a lot of things going on recently in the Book Arts Workshop.

Artist Angela Lorenz visited the Book Arts
Workshop and presented her work to Esme
Thompson’s Collage class.

Kate Emlen’s Drawing 1 Class came in to combine some
letterpress printing with their drawings.

In the fall, we went on an automnal letterpress excursion to two fabulous 
shops in Vermont-Heather Hale’s and Kelly McMahon’s. 
Heather showed us how her Heidelberg press works.

This student is pretty happy with
the poster she just made.
She was even happier with
 this version!

Lots of red in this holiday card.
Alex Halasz’s History of the Book
 class has been working in the studios
 producing a group book with
the theme of word play.

The beginnings of a student’s holiday card with
some amazing ornaments she discovered in our shop.

We had a holiday card-printing extravaganza
that resulted in more happy printers!

Here is one of the student’s type
set for the Word Play book. Can you see
the shape her type forms?
Two pages of the class book on the
press ready to print.
Another page spread from the History of the Book Word Play class book.
A student quickly printing with our “new” Golding
Official Platen Press.

Posters from Hatch Show Print and Yee-Haw Industries on display for the Book Arts
Talk with Snacks about Sarah Smith’s time at these two venerable letterpress
shops in Tennessee.

Kresge Physical Sciences Library hosted a
Geeky Valentine workshop in the
Book Arts Workshop.

Preparations for a Winter Carnival
poster-printing extravaganza.
The first proof pulled off the
Winter Carnival Poster on the
Washington Hand Press outside 
the Book Arts Workshop.


                                    A finished poster printed by a happy Carnivaler.

Written by Sarah M. Smith