Artist’s Book Making: “Nature in Prints” – MY FINISHED ARTISTS BOOK

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.

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Artist’s Book Making: Week 2: Lino Printing and Embossing

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.

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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.


Artist’s Book Making: Week 1: MonoPrinting

I have chosen to undertake a 5 week artist’s book making course. The idea is that every week and in my own time, I will be working on creating pages to bind into an artists book incorporating a variety of print techniques, papers etc. I want my book to have a connection to my subject work so that they work with each other and further my ideas etc. I have decided to make a nature themed artist book, using a variety of techniques to portray and document nature through art. In this beginning session, we were given a lecture highlighting examples of artists books and the versatility in the visual, the format, size and techniques etc. We were then introduced to different ways of mono-printing and started making pages for our artist’s books using this technique.

Artist’s Books: Lecture and Examples

The Manual Manipulation of Book Making is becoming increasingly popular due to the tactile nature of a physical object and the hands-on approach. A book is a recording device and there is a wide range of existing artists books with versatility in their formats.

Ed Ruscha – Every Building on the sunset strip 1966 – The Mapping of an enviroment, an analogue journey recording movement through space.

Richard Long – A walk Past Standing Stones 1978 and River Avon Book 1979 – soaked pages in muddy water from the river, left it to dry on and bound the pages. Natural Process is dictating the book format here. Direct connection from outside to inside. Slightly deconstructing the traditional book format.

Cai-Guo-Qiang – Danger Book 2006. Destruction. Set the book on fire, stitched fireworks into the book to create an explosion. Kept the remainance of the book and bound it into another book recording the event.

Tony Wilson – The Return of the Diruti Column 1979. Record in a sandpaper cover. Book cover made of something destructive will destroy other things with it. Juxtaposition between protection and destruction.

Rachel Whiteread – Sequence III 2002 – taking a book sturcture out – non book.

Noriko Ambe – Flat File, Globe 3B 2006 – This piece is still a protective case with information inside and so arguably still a book format. Through the cabinet, there is a journey of erosion, thousands of hand cut pages.

Anselm Kiefer’s constellation book 2004 – Making a book more sculptural, Leadsheets hinting a galaxy formation.

Victor Vasarely – from plastic arts of the 20th century 1969 – Full of transparent pages, cut out parts, experimentals, opticals, dimensional imagery. Op art. Suggestion of space and form through line and colour.

Anthony Caro, Leaf Pool 1996 – Pop up Books, designed as a wall hanging sculpture as well as a book. Books can be interactive/played with, changed and rebuilt, reformed to create new dialogues between imagery.

Karen Bleitz and Richard Price – The mechanical world/wrecking ball 2005 – Mechanical Book/moving structures

Ron King – Circus Turn 1993 – Wire rods pressed into the paper – Embossing

Experimenting with Mono-print – My First Book Pages

I experimented with two types of mono-printing in this workshop, drawing onto paper on top of rolled out ink and placing stencils onto an inked plastic sheet and pressing. The drawn mono-prints I produced are very simple leaf and nature imagery but I think they are quite bold and striking. However, I think if I was to do this again, I would roll out less ink and use a thinner nibbed pen to create a more delicate line.

I have never used mono-print where you place stencils or objects onto the ink before. I was completely blown away by the results of such a simple process. Instead of making stencils I used organic matter and natural foliage, the stark difference between the coloured background and the white means the shapes of the materials are really picked out but also what I love about these prints are that the veins of the leaves and the bark from the twigs has actually embossed into the paper so the white areas are textural rather than just flat.

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I took two prints on after the other without re-inking, I like the contrast between them in that one print is very bold and the other very subtle. These two methods of mono-print created highly different outcomes and from the results, I am already excited to continue working with new techniques and see the final artist’s book that I produce.