Sunday, January 1, 2012

Pictures are always Good

And with that in mind, I wanted to share a few. First, I could not agree more that it is a very important consideration what you choose to edition. My experience with editions is some fine press books of poetry in numbers of 125 to 230, with sewn binding (pamphlet) that is pretty simple. However, my first artist's book edition of 250 is still in the process of being bound.

Although I have made probably 2/3 of them, this 1995 book The Last Portrait, is on the back burner (unless I turn up the heat.) The reason is the concertina binding I chose. While I love the way the pages open out, and the physical sense of it, I do not love the precise folding aspect and how easy it is to get off-kilter in the folds. I certainly do not love it to the point of doing nothing else till the books are done. I may have gotten better at folding over the years; time to make another run at it, perhaps.

A few years ago, I enlisted my dad's help getting some of them made, but even he grew tired. Helen, you mentioned that you are a stained glass window maker. My parents were stained glass artists in the 1970s in the historic town of Frederick, Maryland USA. I'm sure this was influential in my awareness of craft and art in general. I remember those being the best years of my childhood, going to craft shows, hanging out in the shop, etc. I am including a picture of my absolute favorite window by my dad, James Russell, called "New Beginnings." I have quite a few pieces in my home and this is one of them.

I realized in my introduction post that I completely forgot to mention my location, group and title. I hail from the middle of the USA. I am a part of Group 5, and my title is Throwaway. Recently, I have been working with recycled materials and thinking about our "throwaway culture." You can see some use of materials over my website (, at this point it is mainly an altered book that is a "pocketbook."

I have been collecting cereal boxes, which started when I saved them for a fellow letterpress printer who makes greeting cards. As I packed them up, I thought why not keep collecting and use these for one of my own projects?

There is the consideration of archival materials. This material would not be, and I have to think about that and what it means to work with such "throwaway" materials. So much to ruminate over!


dinahmow said...

That is a beautiful piece of glasswork!

While I'm thrilled to have such a great roll of artists in this round, I'm going to need an iron will to avoid getting side-tracked on blogs!

Helen M said...

Hi Julie, great to meet another Group 5 member. I loved your book about hearing loss on your first post and the ingenious way you enabled the reader to experience it. Also it looks like you're no stranger to making huge editions! Your father's stained glass window is very beautiful - no wonder you were inspired by your childhood. I wouldn't call myself a stained glass artist as I only do it from time to time for myself and family. In my next post I'll include a photo of my largest project - French doors and fanlight.

I agree with Dinah - with so many interesting people and posts and blogs to read are we ever going to get anything done?

ronnie said...

good pictures are ALWAYS good! (so are links!) thanks for sharing

Abigail Thomas said...

I'm blown away by so many posts! How am I ever going to keep up??? Thanks for sharing though. And Happy 2012.... wherever you are.

Sending Pages Out to Dry said...

The stained glass is a great inspiration for a book. I love the movement.