Typewriter Art : A Modern Anthology

The wonderful artist, designer and typewriter aficionado Barrie Tullet recently had his Typewriter Art book published by Lawrence King. He purchased a copy of my edition 'A Fair Place to Live' during Edinburgh Fruitmarket Gallery's 'BookMarket' event. He was kind enough to feature the work in his Anthology.

A little bit about the book
'The first typewriter artist to find fame was Flora F. F. Stacey, with her butterfly drawing of 1898; but since the very beginning of the typewriter’s existence, artists, designers, poets, and writers have used this rigorous medium to produce an astounding range of creative work.

This beautiful book brings together some of the best examples by typewriter artists around the world. As well as key historical work from the Bauhaus, H. N. Werkman, and the concrete poets, there is art by contemporary practitioners, both typewriter artists who use the keyboard as a "palette" to create artworks, and artists/typographers using the form as a compositional device. The book will appeal to graphic designers, typographers, artists, and illustrators, and anyone fascinated by predigital technology.
And about the lovely author
Barrie Tullett is Senior Lecturer in Graphic Design at the Lincoln School of Art and Design, and cofounder of The Caseroom Press, an independent publisher of artists' books based in Lincoln and Edinburgh. As a freelance graphic designer, his clients have included Canongate Books, Princeton University Press and Penguin Books, amongst others.

Early Autumn Home Light

Days are full of making and though I spend more time indoors, the early autumn light floods through the shojigami and tiptoes onto the walls. It is a magical light time of year and the house still smells of the sun on wood and warm tatami. I anticipate the turning of the leaves during koyo and feasting on chestnut rice and the fruits of the ginkgo tree. October marks the rice harvest, matsuri, bamboo lanterns, pumpkins and the welcome return of steaming onsen on crisp cold days.  It's a time of year to love. 

A Book on Bookmaking

Last year, before moving to Japan, I was invited to contribute to a new publication by Charlotte Rivers & Esther K.Smith titled 'The little book of bookmaking'. Some of my artist's publications are featured within the pages on 'Folded bindings' along with a description of some techniques I employ in making the editions. The book is published this month and is well worth a read. You can find more details here.

あけまして おめでとう

Akemashite Omedetou ! Happy New Year. 

The year began without a headache, without regret, without nausea. Rose bouquets delivered by bus, dressed in ruby velvet boots to the open kimono clad arms of a family. Osechi and Ozouni, Sake and Ichigo, Kimono and Card games. Laughter was our lubricant, love lived around that beautifully laid table on the first day of the new year. 
We crossed a fairy lit bridge in Ohori park wrapped in green mohair to see the sun set and give thanks for knowing one another. We drank gin and sent videos across the world. We sang songs, requests and dedications at the top of our lungs until our voices were lost. We slept long and woke happy and well rested for two thousand and fourteen. 

Nihon go o amari wakarimasen

Because I understand little Japanese, I search for conversations elsewhere. I mostly have the BBC to thank for saving me and indulging me in the spoken word of my mother tongue. Of all of the 'Terebi' I have seen here, I am left confused, irritated or nauseous with mindless gameshows, Japancentric news or eating related viewing. Ocassionaly, they make me laugh, but often by mistake, during a genuinely heartfelt tribute concert where the selection of singers can't hold a note or play a chord. It seems too isolating. So I retreat to the radio, my friend. My constant source of connection to my constant state of dislocation. Today, I lay ill due to a weekend overdose of outdoor 'onsen', dehydrated and dizzy, I discovered a gem.

I was lulled in and out of thoughts and woven through memories by Marcel Proust's In search of lost time, evocatively adapted and exquisitely read on radio 4extra. A relief to feel fed by language in what can seem like days of word starvation. My Japanese ability is nearing that of a native two year old. I know this because I met one on Saturday and we conversed happily in mis-pronounced one-liners. We understood each other, which was novel. Though I am only a toddler in Japan, I still crave challenging and insightful immersion into language and discussion. For now the BBC is my gold. Do retreat for a day and soothe your ears to 6 hours of the richest, realist narrative beauty here.

Where did the last 2 months go?

Where did August and September disappear to? It was a whirlwind and I have just emerged. 
Please forgive my silence while the excitement and terror of beginning a new chapter in my life engulfed me. 
Here are some pictures to fill in the gaps of two of the most magical-emotional-stressful-emergent months. 

Many projects came to an end and exhibitions were curated and hung.

 Examining everything in a keep/let go of sort of way, whilst making editions every spare minute. 

Brief days of beautiful family seaside relief 

Studio sorting/making/clearing 

 Precious Breakages

The wonderful invitation to LENvention in Bristol to be calm in the letterpress workshop with inspiring printers. 

Walks with perspective (and alpaca) in Yorkshire 

A place that remained a refuge for tea and tears was flat 9 in the tree tops.

2 months (Part II)

Car Boot Loot 50p sale

Making for sanity / remembering to breathe / everything must go 

Nephews / bunnies / friends reunited 

the sheer hell of moving - packing-storage-cleaning

A sendoff to remember 
Japan / underwater theme
the stuff of dreams

Out of a Printing Pickle

I was saved by super printer and all round good egg Mr Phil Chrisp of EE Chrisp Printers very recently. It happened to be the 114th Birthday of the business on the particular day I visited, and I am most grateful for the wonderful results his Heidelberg Platten press consistently provides. The pressure,  precision and beauty the letterpress gave the work lifted my heavy heart after a fruitless morning trying to pull a print from a proofing press. I have worked with Phil since I wondered into his print workshop back in Castlefield in 2005, and he has printed all of my larger editions of letterpress work. He was one of the first friends I met when I moved to Manchester and he's a tip top fella. Barney the pup is also a sweetheart. x

Fly by weeks

From Citroen HYvan steam cleaning, to searching for signs of Spring, to composers visiting the studio to record my typewriters, to beachy girls' world weekends, to time with animals and dreamy holidays with friends. Time is flying by and the days have been full to the brim with pleasure and work in equal measure. Now my skin is warming it's time for getting all of the transition to the new season down on paper. 

Making/Printing/Blocking/Presenting/Exploring/Preparing/ Teaching/Loving

I can't remember ever having so many pans of opportunity simmering, yet I know that this is not new territory for me. There are times when as much as my head desires to plough on, to grasp all that is tempting, my body has the last word. I have to take stock, it says, you're running me into the ground, it threatens. I have to remember to take notice, to be mindful of what is important. To Love is important, and to be Loved. My head has decided to create a delay with my movement, around . 5 of a second behind, as if I'm travel sick. I am still today, without a choice in the matter. 

Angel of Guidance

My feet are numb, despite being encased in seal skin boots, my shoulders tense, my nose a cold tear drop. I can't warm my heart either, perhaps that's at the core. I've made a wreath, decorated the tree, watched a Christmas classic, made cards, eaten clementines, planned a party, but still the festivities don't live with me. Where is Cary Grant, angel of guidance, to scoop me up and take me skating, make a choir sing and let me see what's under my nose?

November comings & goings

I've been collecting brittle spider carcasses, looking closely, enjoying eating off Poole Pottery & visiting my family. Not to mention knitting presents, taking days off to embark on long autumnal walks, investing in plenty of human contact. I find when the nights draw in and the air turns cool it's more vital than ever to touch other people and let little come between embracing.

Love Letter to a week of contemporary bookmaking

The wondrous Eleanor at Bridge House Art  invited me to teach a week-long course during her Summer art school in the sublime surrounds of her Ullapool studio in the Highlands. It was truly refreshing to be around such a group of inspiring, committed students that were as keen as mustard to learn the techniques and explore the possibilities of contemporary bookmaking. Thank you to you all for responding so eloquently and imaginatively to the briefs I set and making my working week a joy. Lovely cakes too. 

Lately Lately

It's been an oddly busy few months since returning. The weeks have whooshed by in a flurry of work/flux/imbalance/impermanence. Days of restorative sewing of paper and typesetting are a blurred memory as are the many hours of planning and delivering workshops weekinweekout. Boxes of dearest possessions still lay untouched since September, now shrouded in a thick layer of dust from studio rest. Only now in these days of rest and finally some reflection can I see the way to move towards the next few months. I hope Easter provided a Spring clean of the mind too.