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Monday, May 7

back to books

This is supposed to be a blog about life as an art carney. I've been pretty vocal about life, pretty quiet about art. Since my first big show is less than a month away, I guess I should try to remember what it is I do!Lets talk about tools. Russell taught me the value of tools. Were it not for him, I would be cutting boards with a butter knife, standing on books to press them, using a putty knife as a bone folder. So, over the years I have acquired a mat cutter and some power tools and the right kind of metal ruler with cork on the back. I buy glue from a factory that supplies the library and it comes in big ol' jugs instead of teeny squeeze bottles. But the one thing that eluded me was a book press. The classic, iron presses are the gold standard but they are hard to find and pretty expensive. For a while we talked about just constructing a wooded one with a screw down thingy but that just never happened. In the interim, I actually used a decorative press that Pottery Barn was selling.
A bunch of us on the book arts list serve scooped them up. They served the purpose well enough, but a real book artist would scoff I know. And then, one day, Russ was visiting a friend who said "Hey. Could Pat uses some book presses?" Plural. And there, in my room, were TWO old, heavy, classic presses. Imagine you've been driving a 79 Pinto and come home to find a Mercedes in your garage.

You use the press after you've glued the paper to the cover boards so that they dry nice and flat and then again after the books are bound to let them finish up nicely.

There are a few more steps between that and this:

But that will be another post. I see your eyes crossing. And there are books needing my attention. Upstairs. In the presses.