It was the penultimate week of the project. We did our last bricks last week because they need time to dry and be fired at the brickworks.
This week, Elsie the kitten shot into the room we were in, leapt up onto the table to see what we were doing and to make sure we noticed her. Then she headed over to the printing area. Theresa scooped her up before she could leap up and get covered in ink. She eventually settled on a chair in the corner and dozed off. She has started her job as a farm cat and had been out at night to hunt rats, so was in need of a nap.
I was delighted when Theresa offered to show us how to do the Japanese stab binding method of making books. First she showed us how to do stitching on small books into which she had already punched the line of holes.
Then we had a go at making the holes with her lovely Japanese hole punch. This is more of a machine than a tool, and I found it fascinating to watch and use because it has an elegant mechanism.
I printed the Maling jug and bowl that I had done on cardboard several weeks ago that hadn’t really worked. I cut out so it was in two pieces.
On the first attempt, there was insufficient pressure so it didn’t print clearly. I printed a textured wallpaper onto one piece of card, and then a the jug and bowl on the other (picture below).
I tightened the press a little before printing the jug and bowl over the textured print, and it worked much better at the second attempt.
I made this the cover of the book and stitched them together (picture right).
Now I need to decide what to put in the book. It has green pages. I feel that I should fill it with images of late 19th and early 20th century pottery since I have printed some Maling ware on the cover. The greenness of it cries out for plant prints. I have some Ouseburn Farm animals as lino prints on green and blue paper… Maybe I need to do all of these and make more books? The printing bug is beginning to get me.
I am sorry that we only have one week left. I still have so many ideas for bricks that are about Ouseburn that I haven’t tried out. I have series of prints about Ouseburn I want to try out. I started off being interested in this project because I was already thinking about some big charcoal drawings of the area, which I still haven’t done. Maybe I should put that off for a few months because I have heard something this week about another project that would add an extra sense of place to them.