Shouting in the Library

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New press!

We found it with three different chipped coats of paint and a lot of rust in the southwest. The man we got it from had images of it as a garden ornament when he bought it at a local auction, until he lifted it and realized how massively heavy it was. "What are you going to do with it," he said to me curiously.
— Well, to make books.
— Is that what it's for??

After dragging it up the stairs, cursing each one, we scrubbed the rust off, waxed the platens, shined up the brass nameplate, primed & painted it dark glossy blue-grey. Now we have to think of a name for him.

New Rush Seat for an Old Chair

While Tristram handles the woodwork, I'm re-rushing this seat. The old rush was sagging and brittle; although it had acquired a very comfortable shape it threatened to give way at any moment. Nice surprise for an unsuspecting house guest! When I took off the old seat it was filled with about two hundred years' worth of dust, too. 

The rush comes twisted in a large spool and smells sweet & grassy. We soak it to make it more pliable, then weave it tightly in this traditional pattern—seats like this date back to BCE. Over time the color becomes golden yellow. An old rush seater's trick is to tuck some cat nip in the gaps when weaving, so the owner's cat will scratch the rush and it will need replacing much sooner! I promise, no cat nip here.

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Papermaking at London Center for Book Arts

We're excited to be doing a few papermaking classes at LCBA, one of which will be open to the public: Introduction to Papermaking. I'll be teaching with paper & print artist Chris Petrone of the Women's Studio Workshop in New York. The first time Chris & I made paper it was for a book that I made at WSW, and it went a little like this:

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And then we collaborated to make this lovely stuff, which Chris made for me to use in a model of an 18th century French bookbinding.

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Meanwhile I ran some classes with a different papermaker called Chris at LCBA last year, for conservation students from Camberwell and West Dean College. Here's Ashley finally successfully couching a sheet:

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Come join us: two papermakers for the price of one! There are six slots available...