One moment at a time

On November 29, 2013, these sketches triggered the volvelle, or wheel chart, which is a paper construction with rotating parts. I actually didn’t know the its proper name for a long time so I called it(and still call it in my mind) the “circle book.”

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With the shape, I knew I wanted to make something about the cycle of time and decided on showing someone working at a diner. Then I could show a full day though meals and working.

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Prototyping begins. The mockup told me a few things.

1. This size is way too small (about 4″ in diameter).
2. Dividing the circle into 4 slices isn’t interesting enough.
3. Cutting the top circle in half does not leave enough mystery and it looks sloppy.
4. I must include a diner sign with food on it.

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The final mock and separations.

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I based the colors off the color wheel because I thought they transitioned nicely and fit well into the day and night scenes. If you look closely, you’ll see I printed gradients on opposite slices.

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Construction was probably the hardest since all the circles were hand cut with an exacto knife. They’re a little imperfect but I’m pretty satisfied with the final look. More circle books for the future, I hope!

Specs:

  • 9″ in diameter
  • 8 color print (4 gradients)
  • Bottom layer: Fabriano Tiepolo
  • Top layer: Plike in black
  • Edition of 15

The Odyssey: A pop-up book adventure

The odyssey of the pop-up book, the Odyssey.

1. Generally, I start without an expectation. All I wanted to do was make a pop-up book with all the new techniques I learned for the past few weeks. First I thought I could make funny hats and then I liked how a certain pop-up would make a great umbrella. From there, I challenged myself to think of all the ways someone could find shelter from the rain and suddenly, the Odyssey was conceived!

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2. Make a mini. Once the idea was there, I made a mini mockup. How mini, you ask? Let the dollar bill shed some light and show off my riches.

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3. Make it big. Once I was happy with a layout, I made a full-size version and the broke it apart to prep it for silkscreen separations.

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4. Make separations. At this stage, I knew how I’d be separating the colors, but not necessarily what colors I’d use to print.

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5. Screenprint. You know how that goes.

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6. Cut, fold, score, cut, fold, score. I don’t have any pictures but it deserves its own painstaking step. I timed myself like a proper scientist and it took me 25 minutes to cut, score, fold, and assemble my first book, which I streamlined to 7 minutes by my last book.

7. Behold, The Odyssey!

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Of note:

  • In the end, 15 books survived to the end of the journey.
  • I’ll be making some additional packaging to wrap the books in soon.
  • Pop-up books are tiring to make but I really like them.
  • The same dollar bill was used for all the above images.

Summer of slants

I’m pretty happy about summer flying by. I can’t wait to say goodbye to sticky, humid weather and hello to light jackets and scarves. Meanwhile, I’ve been keeping myself busy.

In April, a friend took me to the Antiquarian Book Fair and I was introduced to the world of collecting books. I didn’t know what to expect but I found many inspiring books from the olden days that I wanted to spin into my own work.

This is one of them:
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The Slant Book’s images and text are also slanted on the slanted pages to tell a story about what happens when a stroller, with a baby boy inside, is inadvertently rolled down a long hill. What a genius idea! How could I use that slant to tell a story in my own way?

1. Ghost Seasons
In this case, the slant lets me showcase all the seasons at once.

slantseason-01From top to bottom: Winter, spring, summer, fall.

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Summer to fall

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Winter to summer

2. Ghost City
Here, the slant make the buildings look more epic. I think this book looks best open on display.
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More soon!

Aches, finally complete.

Remember the old project Aches that I was working on a few months ago? It was a series of 5 prints about aches and ghosts. The prints themselves came so easily to me, but I have been toiling for months trying to find the proper box/folder/cover to house them in. I bought grommets, folders, rubber bands, and other experimental items just to toss them aside.

In the end, I came up with a pocket folder that looks like a medical folder. It doesn’t have any fancy doodads, but I think it’s appropriately simple:

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Fast facts:

  • Edition of 10
  • Prints: Peschia White paper
  • Folder: Stonehenge Black paper
  • Size: 6.5″ x 8.5″

Paper Club. Episode 1.


Paper Club is a new feature I’m starting where every month, I’ll write about printmaking papers. Topics like my paper preferences, other people’s preferences, some visual walkthroughs, product testing, and other paper resources will be discussed!


Paper is really important to me when I screen print. How does it feel when you hold it? How does it fold? How heavy is it? How does the paper color react in relation to the colors you want to print on it? I’m not a connoisseur in the least, but I’d like to say I’m an active student. It’s a nice(/weird) pastime for me to visit art stores and discover new printmaking paper.

If you’re new to printmaking paper, here are things to consider:

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Color
Nice printmaking paper usually only comes in muted colors. There is an abundance of white, ivory and beige but if you’re looking for kraft, black, or gray, your selection will be more limited. Cheaper papers come in brighter colors, but I personally don’t like them. What you print should speak louder than the color of the paper you print on. Paper should really just be a nice accent to your work.

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Weight
Paper weight is measured in grams per square meter. Though paper is considered heavyweight or lightweight, it doesn’t refer to how much the paper literally weighs(though it correlates). Instead, think of weight like paper density, kind of like how packed together the paper is. For example, tissue paper is considered lightweight because it isn’t dense and allows light to filter through it. Paper board, on the other hand, is heavyweight because no light filters through it.

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Sizing
Sizing refers to how paper reacts to the ink/paint you print on top of it. The ideal situation is that you want the ink/paint to remain on the surface of the paper and dry there as opposed to being absorbed. If paint/ink is absorbed, you run the risk of bleed and ruining the crispness of your print. Think about using a Sharpie on tissue paper and how much bleed that gives you. Nice paper won’t do that.

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Does it fold?

If you make books, this matters a lot but may be the hardest to test. Even nice paper does not necessarily fold well and you can’t just go around folding expensive paper you haven’t bought yet. So from what I know:

  • Lightweight papers (Rives lightweight, Arches Text Wove, Somerset Book) generally fold well.
  • Heavyweight papers are touch and go. Most require you to score the paper first with a bone folder which will lead to cleaner folds.
  • Stonehenge paper does NOT fold well. When folded, the paper cracks and will generally tear if not immediately, over time.

To be continued…
Those are the basics to paper. The best thing to do is not to be shy and explore. Paper won’t bite. :)

Till next time!

 

Ghost Neighborhood, complete!

I present to you, Ghost Neighborhood!

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Fast facts:

  • Learn about the process of making this in part 1 and part 2.
  • Almost no ghosts were destroyed during Ghost Neighborhood construction.
  • Designed to look good tucked into a shelf or opened for display.
  • I’m still not sick of ghosts.

Ghost Neighborhood
Edition of 25
3 colors (white, eye-shocking pink, cool electric blue)
5.75″ x 7″ closed (5.75″ x 33″ open)
Printed on Magnani Revere Suede black paper (300 gsm)

Available for sale now in the GhostCult Convenience Store!

Making of Ghost Neighborhood (part 2)

Silkscreening Ghost Neighborhood came and went without a hitch. A good print day always makes my week. :)

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Then comes individually cutting and assembling all the pages, which is just as labor intensive as the printing.

This was my mock book test to see how the final product would look. I really wanted Ghost Neighborhood to look like you were looking down a seemingly quiet suburban street when the book is flat as well as open on display.

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It took me a day to cut down the other 24  prints. Tomorrow, a few more cuts and hours of assembling.

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Final post with more glam shots and details soon!

Making of Aches, a print series

Anything worth doing takes time, tears, and midnight snacks.

February 2013
Aches began on February 6, 2013. As you can tell from my enthusiasm, I didn’t think much of it.

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March 2013
The little thumbnail incepted me — I couldn’t get the image out of my head. Truthfully, I couldn’t find the right book/story to put him in… so I just pinned him to my board.

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April 2013
During MoCCA Fest, my table buddy mentioned making prints and I was struck by lightning!

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May 2013
Prints complete! Our stomachache friend is no longer alone but I’m not done yet.

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Future 2013
I’m designing a portfolio for each set of prints.

Ghosts and Aches

Ghost Hotel, 2nd Edition, is now complete!

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Some details:

  • The 2nd edition has 20 books.
  • They’re made with a heavier, smoother paper stock: Revere Suede Black 300 gsm.
  • A new color to separate the editions. Yellow ghosts are now yellow-green.
  • The white paint is much whiter.
  • Ghosts appear more ghostly in this edition.
  • Available for purchase soon online. Sooner at this event.

I’ve also started on a new print series called Aches.

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The series started when a bad toothache kept me up all night. Details and final prints soon!

Making of: Ghost Pizzeria

How to make Ghost Pizzeria:

1. Log stupid idea late at night. Laugh alone at what you’ve just done.

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2. Find stupid idea still hilarious the next morning. Organize ideas into a coherent order in book form.

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3. Make color separations. This one required 4 sheets of acetate so 4 colors will be printed.

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4. Buy nice paper like Hahnemühle Schiller. Then screen print.

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5. Take time to laugh at what you’ve done once again.

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6. Clean up and go home.

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Ghost Pizzeria
Edition of 18
4 colors
5.5″ x 5″