After undertaking a 5 week artist’s book making project, I have finally completed my first Artist’s book. I have been making pages using different print techniques with a view to binding them into a book but I didn’t really know how it would be bound or what to expect so I just worked hard on creating lots of different pages to fill it with. I chose the pages I wanted to include before starting the binding process and discounted quite a few that had ink stains on them or were similar to other prints etc.
I folded the chosen pages and put them into signatures before stitching all the signatures together so all the pages turned as one body like a book. I then glued the spin and placed skrim over it and weighted all the pages down, just to help keep the book together. I was already so pleased with my book and it didn’t even have a cover, I couldn’t believe that my 5 weeks had amounted to this and it was all coming together so well. I cut a front and back cover and a spine and covered them with book cloth before gluing my book in place in the cover and leaving it to dry.
I am so pleased with my Artist’s book, it links to my subject work and has a connection to nature. It incorporates different ways of printing with nature as well as hand-made paper with nature embedded in it. Turning through the pages of the book It definitely makes me feel connected to the natural world. I have employed so many print processes and without undertaking this project I would never have explored the possibilities of creating a connection between art and nature through print. It is so satisfying to know you made the book down to the paper and hand printed the title etc. I am very proud of my artist’s book and will treasure it. I have learnt a valuable new skill and I would like to make more books in the future.
In this weeks book making session we were introduced to lino printing techniques and embossing. I have worked with cutting into lino and printing from the plate before and so I wanted to do something different with it. Also, I have found that the outcomes I have produced from cutting into lino in the past have been quite bold and thick in line width. For my nature book, I wanted to capture the fragility and delicateness of the leaves and twigs that I have been working with. I didn’t think that cutting imagery of them out of lino would really get a sense of that, so I experimented to create my outcomes.
I heated up the lino on the hot plate until it was malleable and softer, I then placed it on top of leaves I collected from the park and ran it through the etching press, hoping that the textures, veins and shapes of the leaves would push into the lino making a mark and I could then use the plate to print from. I didn’t think that I would get a very good result because the leaves were so thin and there wasn’t really much to put in but this workshop is all about experimentation and so I gave it a go. I was very surprised at how much detail the lino actually picked up and with a bit of light inking I was able to print quite delicate prints from it that almost look like x-rays of the leaves and twigs. I am very pleased with these outcomes and never thought that this is the sort of outcome I could achieve through this process, it is very delicate and captures a precious nature.
As well as embossing into the Lino and Printing from it, I also embossed the Leaves and twigs into paper to add to my book. The outcomes are very subtle and because the natural elements are so thin, aren’t embossed particularly deep into the paper but are visible none the less. The veins and structures of the different leaves are very elegant.
These prints will make valuable additions to my nature book, contrasting and being juxtaposed with the more bold mono-printing techniques from last weeks session. In my own time, I have also been printing collagraphs of nature to go in my book. I am really looking forward to seeing the outcome with all the different processes and imagery bound together.