Sunday, February 14, 2016

Studio Sunday-Haiku Collaboration

This spring I will be giving a couple of workshops for poets and writers, one at the Mass Poetry Festival in Salem and the other at the Gloucester Writers Center. We will be making small keepsake books that can be published as editions or made as one-of-a-kind books. They are not intended to take the place of a published chapbook but rather to be given out at readings and/or shared with friends, family, and readers. All the printing and writing is done on one side of the paper to make it easier to design and print. In addition to this sewn binding, we'll also make books that require only folding and cutting.

In preparation, I am working with friends on small editions of their work. My original inspiration for this was the South Common Haiku project that I did with my friend Paul Marion. I will use the stick binding again but will simplify the layout this time. 

My first project in this new series is Morning View Haikus with my friend Anne Mulvey. It started when she sent me this card

and I offered work with her to make a book together. She had been thinking about putting this series of haiku written over the course of the year into some kind of book for Christmas gifts so it all came together quickly. 

I think the hardest task was Anne's which was to choose 11 haiku out of the many she had written as part of her daily practice from April to December 2015. I then wrote them out in calligraphy using my favorite Speedball C-4 nib. I wrote each one three times and chose the one I liked the best.

The drawings had been done in pencil so the next task was to make them more suited to the book. I suggested she trace them and that she did not have to include every line. We spent a cozy hour or so in the studio with her at one end tracing

and me at the other end on the computer scanning in the lettering and beginning the layout in Indesign. It took me a bit of planning to figure out how the layout would work. I always start with a paper copy. I find it never works to try to do this sort of thing in my head.

We had originally planned to do a separate color for the covers but eventually decided that having all the pages the same was the easiest. We were pleased with how well that worked. The original plan also included a bead in the binding but when the edition size grew to 80, we opted for less complexity. 

We had a little binding party and once everyone (first time doing this for everyone but me) got the hang of it, we figured it took about 5 minutes per book once the pages were collated and folded. As a last touch, I ordered small clear envelopes from Clear Bags. The size of the book is 2 3/4" high and 4 1/4" wide. I ordered 3" x 5 1/8" envelopes without a flap. The price was very reasonable. The books were a bit of a tight fit but once we tore a few, we settled into a rhythm and they worked out well. Anne and I have a second book underway. In this one, I'll be using type instead of calligraphy for the text.

The workshops are listed in the news section of my website. 

1 comment:

The Idaho Beauty said...

I just discovered Clear Bags - what a wonderful site. I was looking for the same type of bag you were, one to fit my padfolios. Previously I'd settled for bags too big in one direction. Suddenly, here were bags in many sizes and I was able to find the perfect fit. And not have to order a thousand. Or pay as much for shipping as for the bags in a tiny quantity. A great resource.

Such a lovely project to be involved in. Lucky recipients...

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