Sunday, March 3, 2019

Finished Projects!

I have been recovering well over the past few months from nearly dying from autoimmune encephalitis after successful breast cancer lumpectomy surgery in March of 2018 and later chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Starting in January I began working on three major projects that have all just been sent out of the studio.

The first projects was a "mind map" as a collaborative group project for the CBBAG group I belong to in Ottawa.  Each of the 15 participants designed a map, reproduced a copy for each participant, and will be binding a complete set of the maps into a book. My contribution was a "Map to My Creative Soul."

The cover of my map was originally created on my Vandercook 01 proof press using foundry type and my collage printing technique. The type form remains in the same format on the press, and the paper is pulled one time with full ink and two additional times with ghost prints with three primary colours-yellow, red and blue. The paper is turned during this process to create the collage effect of the letter imprints.

The map I created had a number of photos of activities I have pursued in  my creative life along with images of footprints leading into the images, away from them, and into other footprints.

I included a "pop-up" image of myself on press in my studio and a calligraphy quote  about understanding life backwards but having to live it forwards! This was the first major project I had attempted since my illness and it was great fun. Each of the 15 participants will bind the copies they have been given into a unique volume. When mine is completed I will post photos here.

The second project was another collaborative project, this time for The Ottawa Press Gang. We had decided to create a Concrete Poetry Anthology book project.  Each participant would design a letterpress signature composed of concrete poetry and print 60 copies of their signatures. The signatures will then be collated and bound into volumes.

My signature consisted of a title page, colophon page, 4 individual poems and one collage print with three colours of an Emily Dickinson poem.

The final project was a collaborative book project, a signature for the Grimsby Wayzgoose Anthology. Each participant prepared 115 copies of their own creative signature for inclusion in this edition. My signature explains how I create letterpress collage prints using a single type form and printing multiple images of the form with three primary colours of ink, yellow, blue and red, and also turning the page after each print is taken to make a ghost print of the images on top of one another.

For the collage printed images I included photos of the  type form that was used in the proof press and the method I used to print the collage images letterpress. At the back of the signature I included an envelope with original collage printed samples.

The past two months have been incredible rewarding for me as I worked on these projects. I had to relearn some typesetting and printing skills to be sure, but I also had to learn some patience as I have not been able to work as rapidly as before I became ill.  Through this entire process I have had great support and guidance from wonderful friends via the internet and the telephone. Since my immune system has been so compromised I have been remaining mostly at home.  My lifeline has been video chats on the computer and wonderful, long phone chats with friends and family near and far.  I am so looking forward to being at the Grimsby Wayzgoose this year!

As I look back over the past year and realize how very thankful I am to be alive, I think about the grace of time in my life and how thankful I am to be able to enjoy time in my studio. I am thankful for the love and care of my creative friends who check in with me from afar and work so hard to cheer me up when I am lonely and feeling cooped up with all the heavy snow we have had. I think also about the grace of the time I have for prayer and contemplation in my studio as I prepare more creative work of my soul to share with the world. I know that I have many more months until I will completely well. But I know in my heart, that I am going to get healthy, and that all will be well, and all will be well and with the grace and love of God in her infinite wisdom, all will be well.