Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Poetry Month & Book Arts Tuesday-More South Common Haiku

There is one line that is guaranteed to get a laugh in our house, and it's most often said by me: "That took longer than I thought." It's holding true for all my current projects including the South Common Haiku book.

I thought the lettering was going to be the most time-consuming but the layout in the computer took the longest. Paul originally sent me 43 poems which needed to be winnowed down to 29. I wrote out all 43 and figured I'd take his choice of 29 from those but once I got the final set, it seemed that the right thing to do was to write them all over again. I'm so pleased I did. One of the things about no longer being frequent calligrapher is that it takes me time to get a rhythm back so repetition is always good. After I wrote out the first 43, I was spent. I couldn't believe there was a time in my life that I frequently spent eight hours a day at the board. I was more relaxed for the final batch and I think it shows. And of course it is always a big help when the lettering is reduced for reproduction, in this case 55%.

There are two two-sided pages to be printed. Each piece of paper will be cut into four long strips (by the printer) to make a book with 32 pages including the cover. Each strip will be folded in half and punched at the circles. Page numbers will help to stack the folded pages in the correct order, and then the books will be bound with stick and string at our community event. I'm using some Mohawk paper that I had from a project that faded away before completion.

I started by making a model of the book and writing the the poems in the order Paul had chosen. I took the pages apart and used them to figure out what the layout on the pages for printing would be.

When I printed my test version, I discovered that I hadn't laid out the pages in the computer as carefully as I thought and had to go back several times. This is when the process took over my desk and the area by the printer and scanner as well as the assembly end of the studio.

There will also be a case for each book. It will be printed one-sided on cover stock and then cut out and folded by our volunteer binders. I'm just waiting for my order of Wausau Royal Fiber cover stock in Kraft paper color to arrive and then it's time for printing which will be digitally done by Omni Printing of Lowell.

We are looking forward to a great afternoon on Earth Day with a walking tour of the South Common, a binding party with music by Joseph Darensbourg and a chance to see the City of Lowell Department of Planning and Development's plans for improvements to the common.

See Part 1 of the South Common Haiku story


Unknown said...

Beautiful work, Susan!
Just finished making a book for my eldest brother, upcycled from used materials, for his 70th birthday.
The inspiration, all started back when I first saw one of your books a few years ago.
Wrote a poem for him as a gift!

Mo Crow said...

this is a beautiful way to honour your poet friend's work and I love the stick & twine binding !

Valerie said...

I'm sure you've had a bit more experience binding these books than I have, so i hope you don't mind that it makes me feel good to read about your problems making it come out right! I can never get them right without at least 2-4 tries. And I usually skip the computer printing because it's easier to make it right if i handwrite!

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