Willis's books were bound in my studio in Coffs Harbour, using the same dimensions of book board and the same colour bookcloth that we were all given to take away with us at the end of our labours in Lismore.
I don't think Willis would mind me saying that he was resistant to the whole project, in a way! The 'handmade' has become almost wholly absent from his work, and the mark of the maker is not important to him in his current practice (you can see his work here). Coming from a fine print background with extensive skills and experience of intaglio etching processes and other printmaking techniques, Willis has moved towards removing himself from his work and his present interests lie in the juxtaposition of beauty and weapons of war in digitally-composed, digitally-printed mandalas. A collaborative project involving making paper and then pulp-printing onto it and hand-binding the resulting work was something of a challenge and I think that's reflected in the imagery he selected for 'his' books and their binding. The pages of the red-covered book are folded over and sewn into the spine, and the pages of the blue-covered book are bound inside-out so that they cannot be opened in the ordinary way! This contrary quality says something about Willis's personality and about his playful response to the project.
these are great thanks Sarah the embossed grey cover also looks great and your comments "participants in the event felt able to resist an over-arching interpretations of the theme" draws a smile from deep inside me
The Codex events at SCU promote and develop skills in making paper,
particularly Tim Mosely's development of pulp printing
This year Tim set the theme of 'resistance', with the result that participants in the event felt able to resist an over-arching interpretation of the theme.
Contradictory ideas are juxtaposed within a very sparse visual framework: available time, the size of the handmade sheets of paper and a palette determined by the coloured clothing shredded and beaten to make the paper pulp were really the only restrictions, and even they were debated at length. Antibiotic-resistent molecules, spiky cacti, razor-wire, cogs and archaic text forms are overlayed. Even the edges of the paper sheets are defiant: gaps and spaces, ragged edges against straight ones, pulp-printed images spilling off the edges of the paper. The images jostle and compete but achieve a sort of workable compromise on the page.
Determining the number and form of the desired outcome, which was book(s), was also hotly debated. Again, parameters were set by pre-existent limitations: the book-binding skills of individual participants and their geographical location, together with a requirement to make at least part of the project available to SCU's artists' book collection and the participants' natural desire to take something home with them.
The overlapping sheets of paper were taken down from the walls on which they'd been mounted for overprinting with paper pulp, assembled and cut into long strips. Eventually 16 'sets' of papers resulted, to be made into books with covers unified by their overall size and the availability of coloured book cloths.
Artists then chose which strips would form 'their' books and took them away to bind them
The resulting books will be eventually be assembled into a boxed set.
Hi all I should clarify I am hoping this blog site might be a vehicle to allow us to continue dialogue re the books we are making I expect it would be slow at first however if you have finished a book or such and can post it that would be good