Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Look What Dardos Can Do!

This post is a slightly off topic, but we just had to pay tribute to the amazing beater and the team that built it at the recent Friends of Dard Hunter Conference at the Arrowmont School of Art and Crafts in Gaitlinburg, TN. Led by David Reina, over the course of three days, 200 people hours, with architectural-grade plywood and the Arrowmont woodshop, they put together a working wooden beater. The intention is that the plans will eventually be on the Friends website, for others who might like to take on the challenge.

Above, friend of Book Bombs, Nicole Donnelly makes some cuts on the design with assistance from Brian Queen. Below are some of the images in-progress.

And by Saturday evening, she was ready and working!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Book Bombs and the Friends of Dard Hunter

Book Bombs recently were presenters at the Friends of Dard Hunter Conference at the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gaitlinburg, TN. We discussed the projects we've completed over the past year, and released Book Bombs Issue #2 , We Walk Asking Questions. We met and made many new friends at the conference, and for those of you who are on Facebook, we invite you to become a fan of Book Bombs!

We Walk Asking Questions was printed in an edition of 200, and is wrapped in a half-cover made of paulownia and pampas grass, invasive plants from the two coasts on which Book Bombs resides. The binding was done during the conference, and help was received from Nicole Donnelly, Katharina Siedler, and (not pictured) Lindsay Beal. To Nicole, Katharina, and Lindsay - thanks! We couldn't have done it without you!

Of course, the conference had many other highlights. Below are just a few.

Catherine Nash demonstrates her techniques of combining encaustic with handmade paper.

Some of Randy Arnold's amazing handbuilt bookbinding tools.

Examples of arborglyphs by Earle Swope.

An amazing, ginormous handmade sheet of paper from China, presented by Sidney Korestsky. A video of making an even larger sheet is available from Carriage House Paper.

Above and below, images of pulp spraying and its results in a workshop with Betsy Dollar.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Paulownia-Pampas Paper

Previous posts (here and here) have described the fiber preparation of both Princess Tree bark (Paulownia tomentosa) and Andean pampas grass (Cortaderia jubata). As a reflection of the two coasts were the Book Bombers now reside, the two fibers were beaten together at an undisclosed California location and formed into sheets that will be a part of Book Bombs Issue #2.

Above, you can see a shot of the paper being pressed. After pressing, the paper was resist dried on the studio walls.

Below, details of the wet sheets resist drying.

On another note, Book Bombs will be presenting at the upcoming Friends of Dard Hunter Conference at the Arrowmont School of Crafts. Come join us and hear about our adventures!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Princess Tree Bark Cooking

Last summer, Book Bombs had harvested both leaves and bark from Paulownia tomentosa, also known as the Princess Tree. The leaves were made into paper for our February Print Bombing. The bark (above) was dried and put aside for another project.

And now, for part of the upcoming Book Bombs Issue #2, this bark was pulled out of storage. For its preparation, the bark was soaked overnight. The resulting dark plant liquor (below) was then poured onto the garden as fertilizer.

The fiber was cooked in washing soda, and then rinsed and rinsed and rinsed and rinsed to remove traces of the washing soda and the black gunk from the fibers.

The resulting fibers were a rusty color, however here you can see them prior to rinsing the black gunk. Book Bombs discovered that if the fibers were again soaked overnight, most of the gunk fell off the fibers to the bottom of the bucket and the fibers then could be scooped off the top. However, we made the mistake of dumping the bucket entirely into the strainer and having to rinse it all by hand. Live and learn!

Still more to come on processing. Stay tuned...

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Book Bombs in Toronto

We are overdue in sharing the link to the Toronto Advertising Takeover, organized by Public Ad Campaign in August. Sixty artists contributed works for the takeover of over 90 street-level ads, reclaiming this public space from the corporate advertising agenda.
Visit the site for extensive documentation of the project. Does the handmade paper pictured above look familiar?

Cooking Andean Pampas Grass

Andean pampas grass, (Cortaderia jubata), is a native of South America. In California, it was introduced and is still grown as an ornamental plant, however, it is highly invasive, especially on fragile coastal dunes.

Pampas grass was recently harvested to be made into a part of Book Bombs' upcoming zine (more information on that to come). The image above was a tussock that grew alongside railroad tracks in Richmond, California. It has razor sharp leaves, and we recommend gloves for any harvesting that our readers might attempt.

The light, fluffy blond seed-hair was collected and saved for future projects - see below:

The stalks and leaves were cut down and soaked overnight . . .

. . .and then cooked in washing soda prior to beating. Interestingly, pampas grass turns a rusty orange when cooked.

More to come on the processing this into paper. Stay tuned...