Saturday, 12 March 2011

The Finished Book

Here's a preview of pages from How to say 'I love you' in Greenlandic, which has just been sent off to the Red Bone Bindery, Ottawa, where designer binder Natasha Herman will make cases for the prints.

Creating the images using the pochoir process has been an adventure: it's a new process to me and I've found it demands a very different approach from relief printing using a hand-press. While it is no less meticulous than wood engraving, for example, there is far more room for experiment and improvisation within each print - whether in the sweep of the sponge through the stencil or the colour of gouaches mixed - and equally, far more potential for a small slip of the hand to write off a print completely. I had to revise my expectations, both of the aesthetic unity of the project, and the practical matter of time. It takes me about fifteen minutes to create one print, and I can't work for more than two hours at a stretch before needing to refresh the paints and wash out the mylar stencils.

I'm particularly pleased with the design for an iceberg pilcrow to accompany the Weiss Roman typeface, just visible on the first page of the introduction above. Strangely, Weiss never saw the need to create an Arctic pilcrow. I wonder if this oversight will be addressed in the forthcoming monograph on the artist and designer from Incline Press, The Book Work of E.R. Weiss by Jerry Cinamon, which my library is eagerly awaiting.

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