Thursday, July 28, 2016

Book Art: What We Reuse

If you are a longtime reader, you might have seen the post two years ago where I wrote about purchasing a pack of ten sheets of recycled handmade paper at the San Francisco Center for the Book Roadworks event. (If not, you can go to the link, above.) The paper was made by Jillian Bruschera of The Mobile Mill, and when I bought it I had no specific plans for it. I left it out for several months, hoping it would spark a project, and when it didn't, I finally put it away.

Until a few weeks ago. As I prepare more small books for the SF Zine Fest, I've been looking around the studio for materials to use. The paper came back into focus. I found a linoleum block that was partially cut as a demo for a class and decided to form a loose, mark-filled image around it to print on the paper. I also had some paper made with silver gum wrappers in it made by Beth Herrick from long, long ago, and decided to expand my proposed edition from 20 (each of the 10 original sheets cut in half) to possibly 30.

My theme would be sharing ideas. How we might have the same ones but not know each other, how after hearing another's idea we might transform it. That turned into a poem about friendships and how they are lost and found and changed, how an old friend, lost, is reused, in a sense, as a new friend. Friends, recycled. It was going to have laserprinted text, but it really called for metal type, which can also be reused.

The structure decided it wanted to be a Shorts book (page 35 in Making Handmade Books: 100+ Bindings, Structures & Forms), which yielded a pocket. To sew it to the cover, I folded the cover with a pleat in the center, as you would for a Two-Sewn-As-One (page 100). So it is a hybrid of the two bindings.

What would go in the pocket? I had some old card catalogue cards for the base or substrate. And I had a banker's box full of bags of collected ephemera (mentioned in this 2011 post). Now, to put these to use. I only managed to use up one bag. Mostly parking permits, tickets, and stamps.

The edition of  What We Reuse yielded 27 copies.

Available at nevermindtheart on Etsy, and at my SF Zine Fest table, September 4, County Fair Building in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. Hope to see you there!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Storytelling Day by Day

Sit in the garden long enough and you will see bugs emerge that you didn't know were living there. Visit the same spot in a neighborhood and eventually a story will unfold. One morning, a walk showed me this. I liked the image just as it was. It was mysterious. So many potential subjects and purposes can be found in white painted canvases. And the variety of pots were spaced so evenly, too.

A day or two later, I saw change.

Then more. A painting of a cave. Scenery, perhaps?

A few days later, as I approached the driveway I heard many girls' voices. At least half a dozen were milling about joyfully

Then last weekend, a flyer taped to the sidewalk solved the mystery.


And a little memento in the driveway.

Writing a story takes curiosity, a question to start. The story unfolds slowly, and eventually the answer is revealed. Sometimes the answer isn't given, but the reader is still guided through an experience. Better yet if the reader is shown new views at each turning. The unfolding is movement. Something changes. In this case, the scene made me curious enough to keep coming back to look. The scene kept changing, and I kept learning. Here, I've just documented what I saw as a journal, "a daily record of observances." Add a little imagination, a little empathy, and fiction begins.

See also: "The Stakes of the Story"

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

I'll Be at the SFZinefest Sept. 4!

All these small books I've been making lately? I've had a hopeful, hidden agenda: my daughter and I applied to share a table at SFZineFest. We've gotten word that we are both IN, and we are very excited. What we've noticed about the Fest is the warm and inclusive community, not to mention the creative books and zines. You don't have to like everything, but everything is represented and priced reasonably, from photocopied and stapled, rough-edged booklets to small press offset and letterpress printed publications and the wide ocean in between. Topics cover the cats and cute to the edgy to the quite-beyond-mainstream. Did I say inclusive? Yeah, I did. That's just part of what makes it great.

I will also have a selection of *82 Review back issues for sale. If you let me know ahead of time, I'll bring a certain one for you.

So, if you are in the San Francisco Bay Area over Labor Day weekend, please do stop by the Zinefest on Sunday, September 4, starting at 11am. It's in Golden Gate Park, and it is free. And we'll be there.

For more info, SF ZineFest website is here.

Some of these are already available at nevermindtheart on Etsy.
More to come! 

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Erasure Poem in Concis Magazine

Up now, for your enjoyment, at Concīs magazine is an erasure poem I created from a page from an 1852 book, A Visit to Iceland and the Scandinavian North. I montaged it with two photos I took several years ago: one from Coyote Hills Regional Park and one from my backyard. The book was written by a German woman explorer, and I mentioned it in this post. My poem is called "sit later" and you can find it here. Very happy to be part of that fine magazine.

Go see the poem!

Then come back and see the two photos I altered and used for the piece. Then go there again and read some excellent and inspiring work by other writers. There and back again.