Following wasabipress tradition, I have been meditating on the upcoming zodiac animal for the year 2013. As it happens, as faithful followers of this extremely feeble and poorly neglected blog know, I am quite fond of snakes. However, this year I did something wierd and experimental and not like other years before at all.
It happened thusly: While visiting Oakland back in the spring, I heard from my good friend Jimmy, who is an outstanding designer in his own right, that he had a whole crapton of amazing Fabriano cotton rag paper that he was GIVING away to someone who might make good use of it. So I nabbed it and drove those babies all the way back to LA.
Now this isn't your ordinary, flick of the wrist, inkjet your fourteenth draft of your poetry chapbook kind of paper. This is top of the line Italian, fer goodness sakes, which meant that each sheet is a golden slab of semolina-like, cream-to-the-top of the jug, fall-into-a-lush-embrace-from-three-stories-above kind of paper. I didn't want to fuck it up.
As it happens, I was miraculously offered my third artist residency in September, this time in Red Wing, Minnesota and lo and behold, the campus included a resident letterpress studio, replete with metal type, a guillotine, and two flatbed cylinder presses, housed in the old granary. Swoon.
In the end I hand-tore twenty three giant sheets four times each, for a total of ninety-four pages to print linoblocks- ganged up four at a time. THAT took only two days, but worked beautifully. (insert sound of weary applause)
I was even armed with this beautiful tool bag for my carving implements, sewn by my amazing husband, Sam.